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Danish court allows industrial action against Ryanair

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The ITF HQ's in London

The ITF HQ’s in London

Today 1 July 2015, the Danish Labour Court ruled that Ryanair has to engage in
collective bargaining with trade unions within five days and that the Flight
Personnel Union (FPU), affiliated to the European Transport Workers’ Federation
(ETF) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), can legally enter
into an industrial conflict with Ryanair. This means that a primary industrial
action can come into force on Monday at midnight and a variety of secondary
actions in the airport can be initiated, such as no refueling of airplanes, no
baggage loading etc.

As a reminder, Ryanair has announced opening up of a base in March 2015. Therefore,
FPU has approached Ryanair with the intent to negotiate a collective agreement for the
Copenhagen-based aircrew in line with Danish law and industrial relations practice.
Ryanair has flatly refused to enter in such negotiations. The wages and working
conditions proposed by Ryanair are far below the Danish standards:
– basic salary of 10, 000 DKR (€ 1, 340) before taxes
– only 11 monthly wages guaranteed
– aircrew must change the country of employment on very short notice
– they must pay for their own uniforms and ID-card
– no sickness benefits

Therefore, Serviceforbundet has formally sent a notice of conflict to Ryanair and
simultaneously asked the labour court to decide on the legality of the protest. According
to Danish legislation, the principal conflict can be backed up by secondary actions from
members of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). Seven LO member unions
have given first notice of secondary actions on 6 March 2015 (Serviceforbundet, 3F’s
Transportation Group, 3F’s Industrial Group, HK / Privat, Danish Metal, Danish Union of
Electricians and the Sheet Metal and Pipe Workers). The notices of secondary actions
hereby include all the employee groups of LO who in their daily work might be doing
tasks for Ryanair.

The ETF warmly welcomed the court decision. Elisabetta Chicca, the ETF Cabin
Crew Committee Chair stated: “We congratulate the Danish trade unions who have
achieved this victory which is of great importance for the whole European aircrew
community. Ryanair will finally be forced to respect the law.” She was seconded by
François Ballestero, ETF Civil Aviation Political Secretary, who said: “This
judgement together with judgements from other EU countries are paving the way for
decent wages and good working conditions for Ryanair workers. Ryanair management
should not underestimate the impact of these court decisions.”

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