Friday 23 February 2018

O'Leary has avoided unrest so far - but an opportunistic revolt could change all that

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary. Photo: Frank McGrath
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary. Photo: Frank McGrath

Anne-Marie Walsh

To say Michael O'Leary is a hate figure among union officials is an understatement. And he's not so keen on them either.

The flamboyant no-frills airline chief has referred to RTÉ as a "rat-infested union shop" and suggested gardaí should be sacked if they went on strike.

Just last February, he told investors that airline union activity around Europe is a "load of b****x" and referred to pilot unions as a "busted flush" that have presided over the death of many of the flag carrier airlines. But whatever may be said about his workplace strategy, it has worked in terms of shielding Ryanair from industrial action and the associated cost of lost days and pay hikes.

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