Ryanair Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary, has said that he won’t bow down to “laughable” demands from pilots - adding he would rather see strikes or disruptions than lowered productivity.
O’Leary’s comments come despite the budget airline enjoying a 12% rise in profits in the three months prior to December 2017 – and as talks broke down with some unions.
Speaking to investors, to warn about the potential impact of strikes, O’Leary said: “We have some jurisdictions where we are getting the kind of laughable demands for legacy-type inefficiencies.
“Frankly we will never agree to those. If we have to take strikes or disruptions in those jurisdictions, then we will take those. But we will not under any circumstance alter or reduce our productivity.”
Last year, the Ireland-headquartered firm agreed to recognise trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history to avoid Christmas strikes.
Previously, The Guardian reported that O’Leary has been quoted as saying he’d rather cut off his hand than recognise unions. However, last year, a shortage of pilots led the airline to cancel thousands of flights. Unions were recognised shortly after.
And, although Ryanair pilots have complained of a toxic work atmosphere at the airline, the employer claims it’s pay is relatively high.
With further unionisation is expected for Ryanair’s cabin crew outside of the UK, the airline has told passengers to expect minor disruption.
However, despite apparent acrimonious relations between the current workforce and the Chief Executive, Ryanair plans to hire 1,000 more pilots this year.