Now Ryanair pilots in SWEDEN vote to strike as it’s revealed airline chief Michael O’Leary has waived his yearly bonus following flight cancellations

  • Swedish pilots union announced Ryanair members would strike on August 10
  • It claimed the airline had failed to meet with them for more than eight months
  • Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has now declined to take his yearly bonus 
  • This was due last year’s scheduling mistake that saw 20,000 flights cancelled

Industrial unrest shows no sign of abating at Ryanair, with its pilots in Sweden now voting to strike.

The Swedish Airline Pilots Association today confirmed staff would walk out on August 10 claiming the management had failed to meet with union representatives for more than eight months.

The announcement came as it was also revealed Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has waived his year bonus following a raft of flight cancellations.

Ryanair pilots in Sweden have become the latest set of flight crew to vote for strike action in continuing industrial unrest at the airline

The Dublin-based carrier has experienced strikes in its bigger markets of Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Ireland.

It also faces planned action in Germany and the Netherlands as the budget carrier struggles to reach collective labour agreements across Europe.

In a statement, the Swedish pilots union said: ‘No collective agreements have been agreed anywhere in Europe and Ryanair’s hostile relations with its employees once again showed on several occasions, lately through intimidation and threats to Irish pilots after they used their legal right to strike.’

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Meanwhile a report released earlier in the week showed that despite Europe’s largest low-cost carrier making record profits in the financial year 2017-2018, Mr O’Leary decided not to take the bonus he was entitled to.

The bonus can be worth as much as a year’s salary – about a million euros for Mr O’Leary. In the previous financial year, his bonus was 950,000 euros.

However, O’Leary was paid 1.06 million euros (£944,000) and was given 1.25 million euros (£1.1million) worth of shares in the airline.

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has waived his bonus following a raft of flight cancellations

The company said O’Leary waived his bonus due to the pilot scheduling mix-up in September 2017 that resulted in a serious labour dispute and some 20,000 flight cancellations.

The crisis led to a U-turn at Ryanair, which started negotiations with trade unions in several countries.

The carrier has since struck agreements with several unions, though talks remain tricky in some territories.

The group has continued to denounce such actions and has warned that they could force it to suppress flights and jobs.

Ryanair also announced last week that it was reducing flights from Dublin later this year, warning that up to 300 jobs – 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew – were on the line.

Irish Ryanair pilots in the Forsa union form a picket line outside the airline’s headquarters in Swords, County Dublin, last week 

And speaking yesterday at a press conference in Austria, Mr O’Leary said he was prepared to cut jobs ‘in any market’ if strike action harmed bookings.

‘We are the ultimate opportunistic airline,’ he told a news conference at its Austrian unit Laudamotion’s offices.

‘We have today – in Ryanair – 20 markets that need more aircraft. We’re short of aircraft in almost every market in which we operate because of the demand for our prices, our services,’ he explained, adding those included Poland, which is home to its Ryanair Sun unit.

‘If some market is being damaged as the Irish market has been damaged in recent months by these activities, the Polish market is growing hugely strongly for us, the Ryanair Sun is very full, profitable, we need more aircraft in the Polish market – move aircraft to Poland.

‘If we have people who just want to have strikes for the sake of having strikes then they can have strikes and they’ll find themselves (with) jobs getting moved and aircraft getting moved.’


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