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WARSAW/DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair (RYA.I) is ramping up a new subsidiary with weaker labor rights to better compete in eastern Europe, infuriating staff and unions by bypassing concessions granted during a year of industrial strife. But a key element of the plan, forcing staff to move to self-employment contracts, is being probed by Polish authorities and a law to allow contractors to join unions — and potentially push for concessions granted in Western Europe — is due to enter force there in January cufflinks types uk online.
Europe’s largest low-cost carrier has seen almost a third wiped off its share value in 12 months since strike threats led it to recognize unions for the first time cufflinks types uk online. Investors fear better staff conditions could undermine its business model, among other issues. While hailing progress in securing deals on improved conditions with unions across Europe, management is planning the rapid expansion of Polish-registered Ryanair Sun, where staff are self-employed contractors, a model Ryanair has largely phased out at its main airline under union pressure..
The model denies staff normal employment rights such as paid sick leave and effectively blocks union representation, staff and union representatives said. “On the one hand, Ryanair is busy reaching out to the unions to show a new socially responsible face,” said Philip von Schöppenthau, secretary general of pilot group the European Cockpit Association cufflinks types uk online. “But at the same time they are busy working in the opposite direction building up a potentially union-free — by design union-free — company, Ryanair Sun.”..
Ryanair counters that many staff are happy with contractor status, which they say gives them higher pay. It says the contracts are standard in Polish airlines and that the unit’s rapid expansion — from five to 20 planes next year — would not be possible if conditions were not competitive. “It’s not necessarily the best model for union membership growth, so I would expect the unions to say negative things cufflinks types uk online. But look, it’s the way the Polish market works,” Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs told Reuters in an interview..
Ryanair Sun is currently only operating in Poland, Ryanair’s largest market in eastern Europe, and Ryanair declined to say whether it planned to expand the unit to other markets. But Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in July he planned to grow Ryanair Sun and Austrian unit Laudamotion “as quickly as they’re able to grow”. In October he told investors the two units would drive “much of” the airline’s growth. With more than 200 planes on order over five years, Ryanair has the capacity to build both units into mid-sized European airlines with tens of millions of passengers a year each cufflinks types uk online.