GUE/NGL MEPs are calling on the European Commission and Council to unblock the regulation on air passengers' rights and ensure fairer conditions for both passengers and workers.
Irish MEP, Matt Carthy, spoke in the European Parliament: “Ryanair deliberately misled customers concerning their rights as passengers under EU regulations and refused to disclose correct information on compensation rights until they were forced to do so.”
“We shouldn't be surprised by Ryanair's disrespectful behaviour towards its passengers, though. For years its CEO has prided himself on the company's disrespectful treatment of its workers.
“Ryanair refuses to negotiate with trade unions, it forbids its workers on many bases from organising. This debacle is the direct result of pilots and other workers fleeing Ryanair!
“This demonstrates that promoting so-called competitiveness to the detriment of workers' rights cannot and will not succeed.
“Therefore, in the EU institutions we must stop pushing ahead with the aggressive competition agenda in the transport sector and acknowledge first and foremost that flights cannot run if we do not have workers to service them.
GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Transport Committee, Merja Kyllönen, added: “How do passengers really feel when they book a Ryanair flight but they don't know whether it will ever take-off, and then the company blames poor planning of staff holidays?”
Kyllönen highlighted the impact on Ryanair's pilots and other workers: “It is not only the customers who are affected, it is also the crew members who work on an hourly rate and don't get paid when flights get cancelled.
“Only being paid for the hours you are flying with no income security when flights are cancelled: Is this the model of aviation we want in Europe and elsewhere? A new model of legal slavery?
“This kind of ultra-low cost business model for transport that is unfair to passengers and workers really needs to be abolished.”
For GUE/NGL, the European Union must play a role in improving the situation in future. Grey areas in the current regulation on air passengers' rights mean that it is open to various interpretations that enable a situation like what has happened at Ryanair to occur.
The European Commission and the member states should unblock the development of the regulation in the Council as a matter of priority.
GUE/NGL MEPs urged their colleagues to help send a message to the Council, that the Parliament is ready and willing to reach an agreement on this important subject.
We need a clear and fair regulation on air passengers' rights and the citizens of Europe are waiting for the European Union’s leadership on this matter.
Also speaking in this debate in the European Parliament were GUE/NGL MEPs:
Stelios Kouloglou (Greece)
Tania González (Spain)
João Pimenta Lopes (Portugal)
Videos and text of all speakers are available here

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