Europe’s transport unions are growing in strength

O’Leary, we’re weary

RUNNING an airline used to be a sure-fire way to lose money. Warren Buffett once joked that the best thing a clairvoyant could have done for investors in 1903 was to shoot down Orville Wright. Michael O’Leary of Ryanair has done his best to change that. By stripping away benefits and inefficient working practices that pilots and cabin crew had cherished for decades, he has turned the Irish airline into Europe’s biggest and most profitable. But now the workers, with many others in the transport industry, are fighting back.

Ryanair is feeling this new assertiveness keenly. Last December it was forced to recognise unions for the first time after a shortage of pilots had forced it to cancel 20,000 flights in the autumn. This summer it was hit by a long series of pilot and cabin-crew strikes. At one point in August, it had to cancel a sixth of its flights. In September a union-led campaign against the re-election of David Bonderman as Ryanair’s...

via Business Feeds

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