Ryanair's Danish staff could strike over Irish working conditions
Ryanair could face strike action in Denmark after a court ruled that Copenhagen airport staff had the right to refuse to service its flights in a dispute over workers' rights.
The Irish budget airline's policy of employing people in countries such as Denmark under the less generous terms of Ireland, rather than local rules, has incurred the anger of Danish labour unions.
The unions have demanded that the carrier sign a Danish collective agreement with its locally-based pilots and cabin crew. They went to court to find out if workers at Copenhagen airport - such as baggage handlers and fuel suppliers - could legally refuse to service Ryanair flights if the carrier did not meet that demand.
The court ruled on Wednesday that the unions had the right to demand a collective agreement for Ryanair staff and also to stage a strike against the airline.
The unions have now given Ryanair two to three weeks to agree to the collective contracts. Otherwise, workers at the airport could refuse to supply its flights with vital services during the summer holiday season.
"We have instructed our lawyers to immediately appeal this ruling, which appears to allow competitor airline unions to blockade Ryanair's one based aircraft at Copenhagen," a Ryanair spokesman said.
"We will continue to operate 12 routes to/from Copenhagen but on aircraft based outside of Denmark," he added.
Such a move could head off any strike action as Copenhagen airport workers may not refuse to service flights whose staff are not based in Denmark.