With just two days to go before thousands of Ryanair cabin crew in Spain, Portugal and Belgium are set to stage a 48-hour strike in protest at working conditions at the budget carrier, Ryanair has gone on a PR offensive – the objective? To prove that its cabin crew earn a salary which is “more than double the living wage.”
Ryanair first made the claim last week when it published what it called a briefing note on the “facts” concerning its cabin crew. The document set out to list the many different perks that cabin crew at the Irish airline can expect to receive, including enjoying the “equivalent of a bank holiday weekend, every week.”
But one of the most controversial claims was Ryanair’s assertion that its cabin crew can earn up to €40,000 per year. A fairly decent wage for many cabin crew but insiders quickly rubbished the claim – with many demanding the airline provide documentary proof.
Well, that’s exactly what Ryanair has done this evening – releasing real payslips from one senior crew member and one junior crew member in each of the countries where staffers are set to strike, as well as Ireland. Bringing the total number of highly redacted payslips to eight.
But if Ryanair were trying to prove a point it looks like they’ve monumentally failed. Assuming that each crew member would receive the exact same salary every month (which in itself is highly doubtful), the highest earning crew member – a senior based in Belgium, would earn €37,000.
The lowest paid crew member, meanwhile, would earn just €25,500 per year – before tax. The June 2018 payslips for all the crew members looks like this:
- Irish Senior: €2420.95
- Irish Junior: €2317.39
- Spain Senior: €2838.99
- Spain Junior: €2163.72
- Portugal Senior: €2880.15
- Portugal Junior: €2143.88
- Belgium Senior: €3110.92
- Belgium Junior: €2119.15
All figures shown are before tax.
Unfortunately, the payslips are highly censored – we can’t tell how much the crew members earned in commission or other allowances and as we’ve already pointed out, there’s no way of knowing whether these figures are representative of earnings throughout the year or are just good wages for one month.
On top of that, it’s worth pointing out that Ryanair has shared payslips from crew members during the busy summer season – when schedules are packed and passengers are more inclined to buy onboard purchases. Whether cabin crew can earn so much in the lull of mid-winter isn’t known.
And are these earnings representative? Or has Ryanair scoured its payslips to find examples that are few and far between? By trying to silence its critics, Ryanair seems to have created more questions than answers.