LO-Denmark: “Thank you for supporting the struggle to obtain better pay and working conditions”

July 20, 2015

LO notes that Ryanair is closing its last base in Denmark tonight [17 July 2015]. This means that Ryanair no longer has crew in Denmark working on the very poor working conditions that we have been witnessing. “There will therefore be no secondary action in Danish airports tomorrow. The Danish labour market works and the labour movement has experienced massive support for its defence of decent working conditions”, says Lizette Risgaard.

The trade union movement is satisfied that the Labour Court has – also with this case – shown its support for the workers’ right to defend themselves against a company like Ryanair which grossly underpays its employees and blatantly disregards our rules, says LO’s Vice-President, Lizette Risgaard.

The right to collective action is a precondition for decent conditions on the Danish labour market. But now that Ryanair no longer has crew members in Denmark working on grotesquely low wages, the conflict is called off and air traffic will not be disturbed tomorrow, she says.

The comment is based on the fact that Ryanair has already closed its base in Copenhagen Airport and that the airline will be closing its base in Billund tonight at midnight.

Proud of our members

We have been playing by the rules of the Danish labour market and I am proud that the public, the political parties and the Danish employers’ organisations have, for the main part, expressed their support for the Danish model.

Furthermore, I am proud and glad that our members – including the ones that would have been directly affected by a conflict – have supported us. This is an important precondition if we are to ensure decent pay- and working conditions in future collective agreements, says Lizette Risgaard.

We continue our work across borders

We have experienced massive support from workers in other European countries and I know that our struggle against Ryanair in Denmark is a source of inspiration to our colleagues abroad. Our work in the European trade union movement is crucial to our continued efforts to defend workers’ rights to decent pay and working conditions.

Many people across the EU-system are also concerned about the Ryanair-case. Unfair competition and social dumping in aviation is on the political agenda in the EU and, at the moment, we are making targeted efforts to secure workers rights in the EU-Commission’s upcoming Aviation Package, says Lizette Risgaard.

The rules still apply – should Ryanair return

With Ryanair’s closure of its bases in Copenhagen and Billund Airports, the notices of dispute of The National Union of Service Employees/FPU are no longer necessary. However, should Ryanair decide to re-open bases in Denmark, the airline would face the exact same situation as the one facing it right now; conclude collective agreements for staff in Denmark or abandon having a base in Denmark.

The trade union movement will not sit by quietly and watch them try to undermine Danish pay and working conditions again. If they did it again, the same rules would apply and we would fight to maintain Danish pay and working conditions, says Lizette Risgaard.

The trade union movement has fought this labour fight by playing exactly by the book and everyone deserves credit for that. And we will stick to that tactic! Everyone knows that as long as Ryanair has no bases in Denmark, it would be in contravention of the collective agreements to carry out any actions that prevent them from flying from their bases in other countries and to destinations in Denmark. Furthermore, the trade union movement must not, on its part, encourage any boycotting, concludes Lizette Risgaard.

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