23 Dec 2018


One year on and Ryanair still Europe's worst airline to work for. Crewlink Irelandand Workforce International continue to exploit young cabin crew. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5188899/How-Ryanair-crew-work-FIVE-extra-hours-day-no-pay.html

28 Sep 2018

RYANAIR CABIN CREW STRIKE SEPTEMBER 2018.. bosses treat workers like slaves.Michael O'leary and David Bonderman exploit thousands of cabin crew.

SOLIDARITY TO RYANAIR CABIN CREW Friday 28th September 2018. CREWLINK IRELAND AND WORKFORCE INTERNATIONAL USED TO EXPLOIT THOUSANDS OF YOUNG CABIN CREW ALL OVER EUROPE..... ‘We are slaves with neckties at Ryanair’ … On the eve of the ‘biggest strike ever’ at the Irish budget airline Ryanair, we spoke with ten stewards and pilots. … “I really like it at Ryanair. I have been working there for more than ten years, I am home every night and have one of the ‘better’, permanent contracts. But that does not detract from the fact that I have terribly disliked many things for years. If Ryanair wants to fly for long and happily, then it is high time for change.” You hear a Belgian pilot who, unsolicited, emailed us an eight-page text, about which he doubted for a long time whether he would deliver it to the media. In it he explains why even well-paid pilots will join the strike to improve the fate of everyone at the Irish budget airline. He is not the only one. There has been trouble at Ryanair for some time. After a summer of sharp conflicts in countries such as Belgium, Ireland and Germany, where stewards and pilots went on strike, unions in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal announced ‘the biggest strike ever’ by cabin crew. It will start at midnight on Friday, September 28 and will last 24 hours. Cracks appear in the divide-and-rule tactics that CEO Michael O’Leary has been using for years. Large differences in contracts (permanent contracts, temporary contracts and self-employed) and in remuneration between pilots and cabin crew, but also within these groups, had to lead to difficulty for the 14,500 employees, who are already spread over more than 80 bases, to form one front. ‘The fear culture is the biggest problem in this company’, the Belgian pilot writes in his text. “It is the strongest among the stewards, most of whom have temporary contracts. Renewal depends on an evaluation that is largely determined by the number of days orf sickness and their sales figures during the flights.’ Because of fear of reprisals, most of our interlocutors – a dozen pilots and stewards – wanted to speak anonymously, without releasing specific details. “Then they will make examples of us and we will have to explain it at the headquarters in Dublin”. it sounded. “I earn 813 euros net per month, while I often work 12 to 14 hours a day.” Sarkis Simonjan, steward ‘A few weeks ago I was called to Dublin for a ‘disciplinary meeting’, says the 31-year-old Belgian Sarkis Simonjan. He has been working as a steward for Ryanair in Zaventem since March this year and has already been on strike this summer. Silencing us “They asked me why I had been on strike and tried to intimidate me. But I will not let myself be silenced. I have understood their strategy for a long time. Making money is the most important thing. And I belong to the best sellers. That is the main reason why they keep me on board. If you do not sell well, then you can also explain it in Dublin.” Stewards and pilots who are sick ‘too often’ also get ‘disciplinary meetings’. ‘If you are ill for more than eight or nine days a year, then you must explain it to the Human Resources Department in Dublin, even if you have a doctor’s certificate’, a Belgian pilot who has been flying for Ryanair for more than ten years says. “They tell you that on average you are more often sick than the rest. And that you have to be careful because they will keep an eye on your performance. A fellow pilot had to explain in Dublin why he has used more kerosene on certain flights than others. Everything is being monitored. ‘ The main requirement of all stewards and pilots striking is that the Irish budget airline – which made 1.45 billion euros in profits last year – should respect the local labor laws of the countries in which they work, and not the less generous Irish legislation. But CEO O’Leary wants to stop that because he fears with concessions he will undermine his profit model. An experienced Belgian pilot has been asking questions for years about the employment of many pilots at Ryanair. ‘More than 60 percent are so-called self-employed people. They are assigned an Irish bookkeeper and set up a firm with two other pilots whom they never meet, for example on the Isle of Man. They only work for one customer: Ryanair. The benefits are big for Ryanair, the disadvantages are for the staff.’ ‘A pilot who is employed as a self-employed person earns a gross hourly rate. He has to pay all costs, such as transport and meals. If Ryanair lacks a pilot in Poland, then they can call an ‘independent’ pilot from Portugal, based in Stockholm, to get his suitcase, arrange a hotel and pay for a three-day flight. So, flexibility above all else. Fear is great. Everyone has to cooperates or resign.’ Eg, we did not find young pilots willing to speak, not even anonymously. They have a lot to lose, because they have pay off a heavy training debt to Ryanair and it is more difficult for them to change jobs than for experienced colleagues. 500 euros per month At the same time, all pilots acknowledge that cabin crew in particular have bad conditions. Only a minority has a permanent contract, says 33-year-old Belgian Steve Lemmens, a steward who has been stationed in Madrid since 2009 and has already been on strike this summer. ‘I receive a basic wage, a fixed amount per hour flown and 10 per cent of the sales on the plane (divided by the four members of the cabin crew, ed.).’ ‘I earn 2,000 to 2,500 euros net per month, which is good. But many colleagues conclude a contract with a Ryanair subcontractor, temporary employment agencies such as Crewlink or Workforce. They often do not have a basic wage and are paid per hour flown. We call that a zero-hour contract.’ “I have colleagues in Brussels who earn only 500 euros a month if they fly few hours”, says a 30-year-old Southern European who has been working for Ryanair for over three years. ‘Many are South and East Europeans who find hardly a decent job in their own country or who want to work in aviation.’ … ‘They lure people with false promises,’ says a Belgian pilot. “Ryanair claims that they can earn up to 40,000 euros per year. That is fake news, they never get it. It is easy to exploit youthfulness. Ryanair also deposits your salary only on an Irish bank account. The young cabin crew have to arrange all that themselves. There is zero guidance.’ ‘Contact with management? That does not exist’, laughs the 30-year-old Eastern European steward. “They send us from pillar to post. When I want to discuss something, they send me to the manager of my base. He says he can not decide and sends me to the European ‘base manager’, who sends me back to my manager. That is the culture.’ ‘If I have to arrange paperwork for payment of a disease, then I first contact the local authorities. They send me to Ireland because I have an Irish contract. They send me back to the country where I live. Ryanair uses the legal loopholes. That’s awful.’ … ‘They sell us a dream’, says Belgian steward Sarkis Simonjan, who has been working in Zaventem for half a year. “I did not know all that. I wanted to get started because I could always be at home in the evening. And because I was guaranteed a monthly wage of about 1,500 euros net, with extras per hour flown and bonuses for in-flight sales.’ “Do you want to know how much I really make? (shows a pay slip on his mobile phone) 813 euros net per month. While I often work 12 to 14 hours a day. We often say among ourselves: we are slaves with neckties on.” Sales pressures also increased over the years, says Lemmens, who has been working for Ryanair since 2005 and has received written warnings when his sales left something to be desired. ‘After the flight there is a debriefing and you will be addressed if you have not sold anything. .. Ryanair also gives us tips how to sell more. Like that passengers are not allowed to sleep.” “Whoever is faithful to the company is not rewarded for that, my salary has remained almost the same over the past four years.” A Belgian board commander https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=94VsvrcGnus

4 Sep 2018


RYANAIR CABIN CREW TRAINING LOAN.BANK OF IRELAND ALLIED IRISH BANK IT WAS A RYANAIR SCAM. In 2010 Ryanairdontcare Campaign became aware of a Ryanair cabin crew training loan of €3,500 which was given to young wannabe cabin crew at Ryanair to pay for a cabin crew training course.The Bank of Ireland started giving out these loans to these probationary cabin crew even though hundreds if not thousands where being terminated through two shell companies set up by Ryanair.These loans continue to be given out even though the bank was aware of this large termination rate at Ryanair and young people being placed in heavey dept with threats of bankrupcy given out by this bank. We must stress that the Bank of Ireland are heavily involved with Ryanair with 70% of cabin crew (3500+) being told to open a bank account with this bank for salary payments. (In the UK barclays bank is used for cabin crew salary payments which we have no information on). All Irish and European Ryanair cabin crew salary payment go through the Bank of Ireland who freeze the bank accounts soon as Ryanair terminate their contracts. We believe this to be illegal and have informed the Irish government back in 2012. In 2011 Ryanairdontcare Campaign contacted the Bank of Ireland with information and evidence showing a high termination rate of cabin crew at Ryanair, who had taken out this bank loan, with the bank contiueing to issue this loan out. It seemed that in 2010/11 the Bank of Ireland did listen to Ryanairdontcare Campaign regarding this training loan and stopped it.Great we thought,but no soon after the Allied Irish Bank started doing the very same,giving out €3,500 loans to pay for Ryanair cabin crew training. A three month direct action campaign took place against the Allied Irish Bank in UK and Ireland which ended the Ryanair cabin crew training loans for good in 2012. John said, Due to great service given by Richard Milliken to Ryanair involving the bank of Ireland and Ryanair,Milliken became a Ryanair board member in 2013. Mr. Milliken serves as a Director of Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee. This very same bank that was involved in cabin crew training loans which was a SCAM and the bank of Ireland accounts being set up for thousands of Ryanair cabin crew to monitor and control cabin crew salary... Terminated Ryanair cabin crew would have their bank account frozen by the Bank of Ireland.

12 Aug 2018

Ryanair: The suicide of Captain Jouke Schrale..PAUL RIDGARD suicide NEWS BLACK OUT in UK.

Ryanair: The suicide of Captain Jouke Schrale By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens 10 August 2018 There are numerous issues involved in the ongoing strikes in Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands against low-cost airline Ryanair, but the underlying impulse is the growing anger provoked by the appalling conditions facing both pilots and cabin crew. Working long hours for poor pay in a high-pressure job, with the safety of thousands of people in their hands, places intolerable strains on Ryanair staff. One week ago, on August 3, pilot Captain Jouke Schrale was found dead in his car. It was parked in the Ryanair staff car park at the southern Spanish airport of Malaga. It is believed he committed suicide and that his body had lain undiscovered in the car for at least 24 hours. Colleagues found him after mounting a search when he failed to report for duty to pilot an 8.30 a.m. flight from Malaga to Brussels’ South Charleroi airport. One colleague told the media he was very concerned because Jouke had never missed a flight in over 10 years of flying. A Dutch national, Jouke had been a pilot with Ryanair for just over 11 years, since 2007. He was a base captain for Ryanair at Charleroi from October 2007 to February 2016. From February 2016, he worked as a pilot in Malaga and was living at the time of his death with his Belgian partner, Jessica, in Mijas near Malaga. While the circumstances leading to his suicide are not clear, the manner in which he was found—in a staff car park before he was due to fly a plane—points to work-related issues. On Monday, a Spanish pilot, Ivan Palacios, writing on his blog, noted that after supporting a recent strike in Spain 300 Ryanair cabin crew are being threatened with dismissal. He notes that Schrale’s tragic death is not the first suicide among Ryanair crews. In 2011, Paul Ridgard, a first officer working for Ryanair based in Liverpool, took his own life in a hotel at nearby Manchester Airport. According to the RyanairDontCare campaign blog, Ryanair demonstrated a total lack of care for Ridgard when he was suffering mental distress caused by family deaths and illness. According to a whistleblower, Ridgard could not get leave to attend his father’s funeral and had to work that day. He had been advised by friends to get a doctor’s sick note and take time off work, but he was reportedly fearful of what it would mean for his work record. The RyanairDontCare blog notes that Ridgard was refused unpaid leave to try and deal with the issues. He was in the process of doing his command upgrade training and was told unofficially he would not be upgraded when he took part in a test flight. It was following this revelation that Ridgard committed suicide. The RyanairDontCare campaign was set up in 2008 by John Foley in response to the treatment of his daughter. She had been employed as a stewardess when her contract was suddenly terminated while working on a shift. This left her stranded abroad with no means to get home. Foley discovered this had happened to other Ryanair cabin crew prior to their probationary period ending. In his blog, Ivan Palacios points to a situation in which another Ryanair pilot, who was suffering major stress as a result of being placed under severe pressure to work, almost caused a catastrophic incident. “A well-known case was that of a Ryanair Commander who, unfortunately, suffered the loss of his little son of only 3 years of age. As in the case previously commented on involving the death of pilot Paul Ridgard’s father, this commander was denied leave due to his mental state and was only given one day off for the burial of his son, forcing him to fly the following day. So as not to lose his job, the pilot accepted this and the next day flew a plane with the added ominous coincidence that his co-pilot was a beginner for whom this was his first day working for Ryanair. “When after the flight they made the final approach to the airport of destination, Lisbon, the commander went into crisis due to the death of his son and went into shock, which knocked him out and left him unable to control the aircraft. “The inexperienced co-pilot, took over the controls but could barely steer the Boeing 737 towards a safe area, entering with full force the sensitive security area surrounding Lisbon Airport and causing chaos by crossing without authorization several approach zones, full of planes that were either leaving or arriving in Lisbon. A catastrophe loomed, but miraculously there was no collision. After a few minutes the commander regained consciousness and managed to land the plane.” In autumn of last year, Ryanair was forced to cancel hundreds of flights because of problems arising from the introduction of a new rostering schedule and a chronic lack of staff. In a September 20 Guardian article former Ryanair pilot James Atkinson wrote, “I was a captain for Ryanair from 2006 to 2014, and these cancelled fights do not surprise me. What I witnessed in those eight years left me shaking my head, and the current estimate that more than 700 Ryanair pilots have quit the airline in the last financial year does not surprise me either.” Explaining some of what he had been through, Atkinson recalled, “Meanwhile, the fatigue of flying for Ryanair is quite real. When I was there, I was regularly sent out of my base to fly on my days off, and without pay—to distant Ryanair bases that had a staffing shortage. I would take connecting flights and sometimes overnight layovers to arrive (hotel paid by me, and not reimbursed). Once there, I would report for duty, fly a heavy flight schedule for five consecutive days, then face the arduous journey back to my home base. If it was summer, I’d usually have only three days back at home before embarking on another such trip. It was a soul-destroying experience.” The terrible pressure on Ryanair staff is not exclusive to that company, which for over 30 years has systematically cut costs and set new benchmarks in increasing profitability at the expense of its workforce. In March 2015, Anreas Lubitz was the co-pilot on a Germanwings flight from Barcelona in Spain to Dusseldorf. Germanwings is the low cost budget subsidiary of the Lufthansa airline. After locking out the pilot from the cabin, Lubitz deliberately flew the plane into the ground over the French Alps, taking the lives of 149 passengers and crew. Ryanair and other airlines have imposed these conditions with the full collaboration of the trade unions. Aware of the record of the unions in working with other airlines and collaborating with them in enforcing attacks on terms and conditions, as well as job cuts, last December Ryanair agreed to begin recognising unions. This decision was taken even as Ryanair declared it would continue to expand its operations, cut costs and ramp up profitability. Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) officials in Germany spoke for their counterparts everywhere at a press conference this week when they said they were not interested in pursuing demands beneficial to the workforce, but only wanted a collective bargaining deal. VC president, Martin Locher, said, “In the interests of Ryanair passengers, we really don’t want to strike. But with the work stoppages, we want to consciously send the company a sign that it is our concern, now finally, finally to enter into constructive collective bargaining.” For the bureaucracy this means raking in membership dues in return for acting as an industrial police force on behalf of management. For pilots and cabin crew it means ever more brutal levels of exploitation. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/10/ryan-a10.html

9 Aug 2018

RYANAIR PILOT STRIKE 10th AUGUST 2018 Is music to my ears.

Ryanair is facing more strikes tomorrow Friday 10th August 2018 from German, Irish, Belgian and Swedish pilots which is music to my ears. ONE IN SIX RYANAIR FLIGHTS ACROSS EUROPE HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. Next time let's make it Six in Six...

8 Aug 2018


The 2nd Ryanair Pilot Suicide.The Sun Newspaper Paper contacted Ryanairdontcare Campaign today asking for information. The email below is what I recieved after a short phone call which had a very bad connection. You can also see Ryanairdontcare Campaign's email reply.... Tariq TAHIR To jonnyjade@yahoo.co.uk Wednesday, 8 August, 2018 9:38 Click to view full HTML Hi Jonny, As I mentioned on the phone I'm a reporter with the Sun Online. I'm working on a story about the suicide of the Ryanair Captain Jouke Schrale. We ran an initial story on Sunday and we're looking to follow it up. I came across your blog and I was wondering whether you were in touch with anyone who knew Captain Schrale? We're just looking to investigate the circumstances of this tragedy. Regards, Tariq Tahir Ryanairdontcare Campaign's reply. john foley To Tariq TAHIR Wednesday, 8 August, 2018 19:43 Click to view full HTML Hi Tariq, The phone line was a bad connection today and didn't hear your part of the Sun Newspaper. Nothing personal towards you Tariq but I don't give information or contacts to the Sun, reason being its coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster. Kindest regards John Foley Ryanairdontcare Campaign



The Ryanair strike and the resurgence of international class struggle.RYANAIRDONTCARE CAMPAIGN Continue The Fight.

The Ryanair strike and the resurgence of international class struggle 8 August 2018 Ryanair pilots in Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany are expected to strike Friday in opposition to attacks on their pay and working conditions. The strikes are over a range of issues. A large number of the pilots who fly for Ryanair are not employed by the airline. They are forced to form a one-person company and even set up a bank account in Ireland. In that country, some 100 full-time pilots are striking over issues of seniority. In Germany, 400 pilots are opposing the increasing use of agency workers and demanding a higher base salary so that variable payments based on hours flown make up a smaller part of overall remuneration. They are also demanding higher sick pay and equal pay across German operations. In Sweden, pilots are in dispute because the trade union involved has been unable to reach a collective agreement and claims that Ryanair is refusing to negotiate. In the Netherlands, workers are demanding a collective contract in which Dutch labour law is applied, including full-time jobs, improved sick pay and pension provisions. In Belgium, pilots are walking out in defence of cabin crew who struck in June and have faced intimidation by management. Pilots in all five countries have voted in favour of strike action, with unions in the Netherlands and Germany yet to formally decide on when to strike. Pilots in the Netherlands expressed the common determination of pilots in all of the countries involved to fight back by voting by 99.5 percent for industrial action. German pilots voted for strike action by a similar margin. Ryanair pilots in Ireland, where the company is headquartered, have already staged four one-day strikes this year. The strikes must be seen in the context of a developing resurgence of the class struggle internationally. In a January 3 Perspective article, World Socialist Web Site Chairperson David North wrote that 2018 would be “characterized, above all, by an immense intensification of social tensions and an escalation of class conflict around the world.” North continued: “The essential contradictions of the capitalist system … are now rapidly approaching the point where the further suppression of mass working class opposition to capitalism is impossible.” This assessment is being borne out, with struggles erupting all over the world against attacks on workers’ pay, conditions and livelihoods, including the mass strikes by teachers in the United States, the strike by industrial workers in Germany, the fight by 50,000 university lecturers in the UK in defence of pension rights, and the strikes and protests by rail workers in France against pro-business legislation imposed by the Macron government. Last month, an article in Politico referred to the initial Ryanair strikes as the harbinger of a “continent-wide rebellion” by cabin crew and pilots. This rebellion is gathering pace—as a global struggle against a transnational corporation employing 13,000 workers and operating from 86 bases in 37 countries across Europe and North Africa. This has implications for the global airline industry. Carrying 130 million passengers last year, Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers. It plays a critical role in setting new benchmarks of super-exploitation based on its business model of imposing low pay and long working hours. Ryanair recruits staff at rock bottom rates of pay, using agencies to scour low-wage countries—particularly in eastern Europe—to hire cabin crew who can reportedly be paid as little as €10 a flight. According to information obtained by the ryanairdontcare blog, over 4,000 Ryanair staff are on zero-hour contracts, earning as little as €600 a month. Ryanair cabin crew report that they work unpaid for up to five hours a day. The firm has maintained a policy whereby staff must be available for airport standby and are paid just £3.75 per hour. Pilots previously had to pay Ryanair a training course fee of €29,500, which was reduced only this year. However, “cadets” are still forced to hand over an upfront fee of €5,000. The pressure placed on workers is intolerable. Last Friday, a Dutch Ryanair pilot with 10 years at the company, Jouke Schrale, was found dead in a staff car park at Malaga airport–reportedly having committed suicide shortly before he was scheduled to fly a plane to Brussels. This is the second suicide of a Ryanair pilot since 2011, when Paul Ridgard, based at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, took his own life. The Ryanair strike shows that the struggles of the working class are reaching a higher stage of development and intensity, posing strategic issues before every section of the international working class. In 1988, the International Committee of the Fourth International made a far-sighted appraisal of the impact on the future course of the class struggle of globalised production and the domination of economic life by huge transnational corporations. The ICFI wrote: It has long been an elementary proposition of Marxism that the class struggle is national only as to form, but that it is, in essence, an international struggle. However, given the new features of capitalist development, even the form of the class struggle must assume an international character. Even the most elemental struggles of the working class pose the necessity of coordinating its actions on an international scale. The main obstacle to such an offensive is the nationalist, pro-capitalist trade unions, which function as an industrial police force on behalf of the corporations, banks and national governments. Friday’s joint action will take place due only to an incipient rebellion against trade unions that have worked for months to prevent such an outcome. Germany’s Cockpit union did not announce a date for a strike because it was desperately seeking a last-minute, face-saving agreement with Ryanair. Ahead of this week’s strikes, the Sepla union, representing 500 of the 800 Ryanair pilots in Spain, announced that it would not be calling strikes despite failing to reach a collective bargaining contract with Ryanair. It would initiate legal action instead. Some 25 percent of Ryanair’s pilots are located in the UK. Throughout the latest wave of international strikes, the BALPA trade union, recognised by the company in January, has continued fruitless negotiations with Ryanair, seeking “an end to a fragmented pay structure, to reduce the number of contract pilots and the acceptance of seniority.” For its part, the Irish pilots’ union (Ialpa-F√≥rsa) has agreed to third-party negotiations beginning next week. Not only are the unions keeping pilots’ strikes in the various countries separated from one another wherever possible, they are also isolating pilots from Ryanair’s super-exploited cabin crews. At the end of July, cabin crew workers held strikes for two days in Spain, Portugal and Belgium, with no involvement by the pilots. In stark contrast, corporations such as Ryanair utilise the global economy to impose ever greater levels of exploitation. The company relies on the divisions between workers deliberately fostered by the trade unions on the basis of their reactionary perspective of economic nationalism. Ryanair has threatened to sack more than 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew workers based at Dublin Airport, with CEO Michael O’Leary warning that the company will move jobs to Poland from Ireland if they continue to strike. The only way to combat this global offensive by the employers is for workers to mount a global offensive of their own! Ryanair pilots, cabin crew and ground staff must break free of the grip of the trade unions and take the struggle into their own hands. Rank-and-file committees must be formed, wholly independent of the trade unions. They must link up the fight of all Ryanair workers across all national divisions, while making an appeal for support from airline, transport and delivery workers across the globe. This requires the adoption of a socialist, internationalist programme, as fought for by the ICFI, including placing the airline industry under public ownership, to be run democratically as part of a planned global economy based on human need, not the accumulation of private profit. Ryanair workers in agreement with this perspective should write to the WSWS and share your experiences with your co-workers internationally. Robert Stevens


Ryanair Pilot Found Dead At Malaga Airport.. A 45 year old Ryanair pilot has been found dead in his car in the staff car park at Malaga airport. Captain Schrale, known as Jake to his friends, is believed to have committed suicide just hours before he was scheduled to pilot a flight to Brussels. The pilot, originally from Holland, has been living in Mijas with his partner. A Ryanair spokesperson said today ““His colleagues are in deep shock. We offer our deepest sympathy.” Ryanairdontcare Campaign said, This is the 2nd Ryanair Pilot to commit Suicide 1st being Liverpool Ryanair pilot Paul Ridgard in 2011 which was never reported by the UK Press... http://ryanairdontcarecrew.blogspot.com/2014/06/ryanair-pilot-paul-ridgard-remembered.html http://ryanairdontcarecrew.blogspot.com/2014/06/ryanair-pilot-paul-ridgard-remembered.html