Girona: Ryanair employees agree to major pay cut
Ryanair staff based in Girona have accepted drastic cuts in exchange for the company maintaining its base in the city's airport, the second-largest in Catalonia. According to Ryanair its Girona operations are not profitable. Now the current contracts will be replaced with new ones and approximately 160 employees will lose around 25 percent of their salary. Spanish newspapers say the airline is bullying its employees.
The arrogance of monopolists
It is dangerous for a company to acquire a quasi-monopoly position in one location, notes El Periódico de Catalunya:
“The employees who accept the deal will only be employed for nine months a year (and unemployed for the remaining three months). They will receive a new contract from 1 January under which they will lose their acquired seniority and be downgraded in their pay category. After a hastily convened meeting, they were given one week to choose between these cuts or being made redundant. ... In view of the fact that Ryanair accounts for 70 percent of the airport's turnover, the authorities must take action to ensure that the company's arrogant practices don't end up determining everything.”
Ryanair is being as rough with its employees as it is with passengers whose hand luggage doesn't fit into the metal frame at airports, eldiario.es adds:
“The company showed its staff in Girona a box in blue and yellow (its corporate colours) and told them, as it tells its passengers, that whatever didn't fit into the box would stay on the ground. And of course, the employees didn't fit into the new box; their rights were sticking out the sides, they had too much seniority, too high a pay category, and three months of employment and salary too many per year. And we all know how inflexible the company is: either you give up what doesn't fit in the box, or you're out on the street. ... If somebody doesn't stop this company, the box for labour rights will become smaller and smaller until only a tiny backpack fits into it.”