Business World

Saturday 24 February 2018

Copenhagen mayor bans 45,000 staff from flying Ryanair

Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen
Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen

Paul O'Donoghue

The Mayor of Copenhagen has banned all 45,000 of the city's officials from using Ryanair flights for official business.

Frank Jensen said that city officials could not use the carrier - even if it was the cheapest option available.

He said that this was due to the wages that the airline pays its staff and its lack of a Danish collective-bargaining agreement.

In an interview with Danish newspaper 'Berlingske', he said that in Copenhagen "we have fought hard against the scourge of social dumping".

"Therefore we require all of those who deliver services to the municipality, including those who would sell us plane tickets, to offer their employees proper salaries and working conditions.

He added: "Thus, we already have a ban on flying with Ryanair. Our rules mean that we cannot enter contracts or buy goods from suppliers that do not pay proper salaries."

'Social dumping' is defined by the European Commission as a situation "where foreign service providers can undercut local service providers because their labour standards are lower".

But Ryanair hit back against the allegations, calling them "inaccurate".

A spokesman for the airline said: "We are surprised at Mayor Jensen's comments which don't take account of the fact that Ryanair's pilots and cabin crew enjoy high pay, job security and already have a collective agreement with Ryanair.

"We are also surprised at his boycott call when all Ryanair flights in Copenhagen are being handled by workers who are represented by Danish unions. Ryanair is growing tourism, traffic and jobs in Denmark."

Ryanair first arrived in the Danish capital in March and has been facing issues since. The budget airline saw its first flight from the Danish capital grounded for three hours by demonstrators.

The protest was prompted by the airline's refusal to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with a union for pilots and cabin crew.

Later this week, Ryanair and the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) are scheduled to discuss whether the airline should adhere to Irish or Danish rules at their Copenhagen Airport base.

LO said that if the so-called 'recognition proceedings' determine that Ryanair must follow Danish rules, the decision will clear the way for a blockade that would bar members of unions including 3F, Dansk Metal and HK from doing work for Ryanair, thus effectively making it impossible for the company to operate out of Copenhagen Airport.

Last month, Ryanair announced that it would expand its Copenhagen operations to include new direct flights to Budapest, Malaga and Alicante.

Irish Independent

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