Ryanair's Portugal staff to face potential disciplinary action
27 October 2018
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A number of Ryanairâs Portugal -based staff have been ordered to attend a meeting in Dublin later this week to face potential disciplinary action.
Reports in the Irish press say this is the result of a photo published on social media, which shows Ryanair crew members, based in Portugal, sleeping on a floor at Malaga Airport.
The low-cost airline has since dismissed the photo as being fake.
The photo, which grabbed headlines and went viral on Facebook and Twitter, was published after four Ryanair planes were forced to land in Spain instead of Portugal, where they are based.
The planes were diverted due to safety concerns resulting from the unstable weather conditions caused by Storm Leslie in Portugal.
Immediately after the photo was published, Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew apologised to the staff. He further added in a tweet that at the time, there were no hotel rooms available on the night in Malaga.
But following the apology, Ryanair managed to obtain CCTV footage and posted it on Twitter, indicating the photo had been staged.
As a result, the group of Ryanair staff, mostly from Portugal, have been summoned to attend a meeting at the airlineâs head office in Dublin.
In a letter seen by Irelandâs RTÃ News, the staff have been told they are ârequired to attend an investigative meeting under the disciplinary procedure.â
The meeting, said the letter, is to âdiscuss the circumstances surrounding the distribution on social media of a photographâ, which the airline says âfaked events.â
Portugalâs SNPVAC trade union defended the staff, saying it was a form of protest.
âThe image illustrated the working conditions for the crew in Malaga last Saturday nightâ, said Fernando Gandra, adding: âWhat we always claimed, is that Ryanair only gave the floor f or people to have a rest.â
A Ryanair statement meanwhile said âthe publication of this video reveals the facts and exposes the SNPVAC unionâs fake news/false claimsâ and the airline has called on Gandra to apologise for his claim.
In related news, Ryanair has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Portuguese pilot union SPAC, which will provide for seniority and base transfer agreements, to cover all of Ryanairâs directly employed pilots in Portugal. Negotiations with SPAC under Portuguese Law with local contracts will now commence before the end of October.
Ryanairâs Chief People Officer, Eddie Wilson said: âThese signed agreements with our pilot unions in Portugal, the UK, Italy and shortly in Spain, demonstrate the considerable progress weâre making in concluding union agreements with our people in our major EU markets.â
He added that he expected that these agreements will encourage the cabin crew unions in Portugal to remove compet itor airline employees, who the airline claims have been blocking progress, and to quickly conclude cabin crew agreements.
27 October 2018
Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.
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