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Ryanair to Axe 3,500 Employees if Unions Don’t Agree to Pay Cuts

Ryanair to Axe 3,500 Employees if Unions Don’t Agree to Pay Cuts

Unions Claim Ryanair Chairman Doesn't Have Nearly As Much Support As Airline Reported

Ryanair could axe as many as 3,500 jobs unless employees agree to a slew of pay cuts, the airline’s chief executive Michael O’Leary warned on Wednesday. O’Leary has proposed slashing pilot pay by as much as 20 per cent, while the lowest-paid members of cabin crew would face a pay cut of around 5 per cent as a cost-cutting response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’ve already announced about 3,500 job losses but we’re engaged in extensive negotiations with our pilots, our cabin crew and we’re asking them to all take pay cuts as an alternative to job losses,” the often outspoken chief executive old the budget carrier explained.

“If we can negotiate those pay cuts by agreement, we can avoid most but not all job losses,” he continued.

Earlier this year, Ryanair’s most senior UK-based cabin crew won “inflation-busting” pay rises of up to 11 per cent. The airline’s most junior cabin crew were awarded pay rises of between 0.6 per cent to 10.8 per cent, along with better terms and working conditions.

Pay and conditions for Ryanair cabin crew and pilots, however, can vary massively depending on where staff based across Europe. Despite assurances from the airline that it would work with unions, there are still some complaints of “union-busting” tactics, especially in Eastern Europe.

Ryanair relaunched its network on Wednesday and expects to fly as many as 4.5 million passengers in July. While that represents a 70 per cent drop on passenger numbers from July 2019, it is still a massive improvement from April and May when the Ryanair fleet was almost entirely grounded.

The airline has been aggressively targeting service resumption to 90 per cent of its pre-COVID network and is planning 1,000 flights per day throughout July. O’Leary has been particularly critical of border restrictions that prevent European residents flying around the Continent.

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