UK pub­lic pen­sion group to op­pose Ryanair at AGM

The Gulf Today - Business - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON: Ryanair faced grow­ing crit­i­cism from unions and in­vestors on Fri­day about how it has han­dled an in­dus­trial re­la­tions re­volt ahead of its an­nual share­holder meet­ing next week when its vet­eran chair­man’s po­si­tion will be chal­lenged.

Bri­tain’s Lo­cal Au­thor­ity Pen­sion Fund Fo­rum (LAPFF) rec­om­mended mem­bers vote against Ryanair’s fi­nan­cial re­port at the Sept. 20 meet­ing and also op­pose the re-elec­tion of Chair­man David Bon­der­man.

The group, whose mem­bers schemes run around 230 bil­lion pounds ($300 bil­lion) on be­half of teach­ers, clean­ing staff and other pub­lic work­ers, said its rec­om­men­da­tions re­flected “sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns” about Ryanair’s treat­ment of work­ers.

Ryanair has strug­gled with labour re­la­tions in re­cent months and en­dured its worst one-day strike last month, dis­rupt­ing the plans of an es­ti­mated 55,000 trav­ellers. An­other one-day strike by cabin crew is planned across five coun­tries on Sept. 28.

“Ryanair has failed to ad­e­quately ad­dress con­cerns about the com­pany’s trou­bled re­la­tion­ship with its em­ploy­ees and the po­ten­tial im­pact on its busi­ness,” LAPFF Chair Ian Green­wood said in a state­ment.

“The com­pany faces more strikes and al­le­ga­tions of poor work­ing con­di­tions con­tinue to emerge. Ques­tions about the com­pany’s busi­ness model and gov­er­nance now pose a threat to share­holder value.” Ryanair praised Bon­der­man in a state­ment as an “out­stand­ing” chair­man and pre­dicted that “share­hold­ers will pass all AGM res­o­lu­tions by a large ma­jor­ity this year.” A day af­ter Ryanair’s re­ceived a boost by sign­ing col­lec­tive labour agree­ments with three unions in Italy, one of its ma­jor mar­kets, it faced the prospect of the in­dus­trial strife spread­ing to Poland, one of its fastest grow­ing mar­kets.

Ryanair re­fused to ac­cept the reg­is­tra­tion pa­pers of a newly formed Pol­ish union and threat­ened work­ers with re­dun­dancy if they did not ac­cept self-em­ploy­ment con­tracts with its Pol­ish sub­sidiary, Ryanair Sun, by Septem­ber 30, the In­ter­na­tional Trans­port Work­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (ITF) said in a state­ment.

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