ETF: Ryanair to be inspected over Norwegian ‘slave contract’ claims

Low-cost airline Ryanair is about to get unannounced visits from state aviation and labour inspectors in Norway, following revelations by two sacked flight attendants of the terms of their contracts.

A special meeting of state aviation authorities, government officials and labour leaders took place on 17 April after discussions in the Norwegian parliament on 10 April over allegations that Ryanair uses ‘slave contracts’ for its cabin crew based in Norway.

The Parat union is backing the two dismissed women, Alessandra and Zuzana, who were employed by Irish agencies, not Ryanair directly. They allege there is a ‘culture of fear’ at Ryanair and say crews have no protection. When the women turned their contracts over to Parat and the media, it was revealed that they had to pay for their training, uniforms and ID cards; would receive no sick leave; and that participation in industrial action was grounds for immediate dismissal.

Vegard Einan, Parat vice president, commented: “Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, claims that Irish law and labour standards, not Norwegian, apply to cabin crew based in Norway. We and other experts disagree. We hope our government will now come down firmly against this social dumping in the airline industry so that cabin crew based in Norway can expect Norwegian employment standards and protection.”

Parat has been campaigning against anti-trade union activity in low cost carriers in Norway, including at the ILO Global Dialogue Forum on the Effects of the Global Economic Crisis on the Civil Aviation Industry in February 2013 and the International Civil Aviation Organization 6th worldwide air transport conference in March 2013.

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