Business Irish

Sunday 11 December 2016

'It takes two and a half nano seconds to learn... I would have sacked the whole lot of them' - Michael O'Leary wades into Luas row

Published 02/06/2016 | 09:56

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary. Photo: Bloomberg
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary. Photo: Bloomberg

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has said he would have sacked all of the Luas drivers that have held strikes should he have been in charge of the situation.

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The outspoken CEO was speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning after his airline announced it would be significantly cutting its baggage costs.

"I really misunderstand why we ever have a department of transport in this country, we're a small population. We shouldn't own the railway service we mismanage it, we shouldn't own bus companies we gloriously mismanage those.

"The Luas has been mishandled, it's more public sector muddling through. I would have sacked the whole lot of them."

"I would (have had an all-out strike). But that's the best way of bringing these things to boil. You've had an all-out strike for about two weeks and then now lads you can come back, here's the terms.

"For a job that's already paid double the rate that it is in Blackpool, where it takes you about two and a half nano seconds to learn how to drive a tram," he said.

On yer bike: Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary.
On yer bike: Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary.

Mr O'Leary was speaking after two strikes due to take place last Thursday and Friday were cancelled after union chiefs agreed to meet with Luas operators Transdev.

The ongoing dispute over pay levels between workers and Transdev has been running for some time now, however, the latests session of talks at the Labour Court have been deemed as useful by both sides of the dispute.

"People are great for criticising politicians while they can't form a government and we as an electorate should criticise ourselves, because if you're going to elect 40pc of the Dáil that's going to be the local  idiot or the local campaigner for the local lunatic asylum, and then we're surprised we can't form a stable government for a four or five year period.

The Ryanair chief was speaking after traffic at his airline increased by 12pc in May, increasing to 10.6 million customers.

Load factor at the firm increased by 2pc to 94pc with year on year rolling traffic increasing by 16pc to 108.5 million.

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