Ryanair suffers new setback

Portugal’s Court of Appeal rules employee’s sacking was illegal: all salaries must be paid, with interest

Low-cost airline Ryanair has suffered a new setback in the Portuguese courts.

Portugal’s Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction of a temporary employment agency Crewlink, working for the airline, to reinstate a crew member dismissed in 2019 – as well as to pay salaries due since then.

According to the ruling, court rejected Crewlink’s appeal, reaffirming the decision of the court of first instance and ordering the company to reinstate the worker “without prejudice to his category and seniority”.

In effect this means the court upheld the lower court’s verdict, which declared the dismissal to have been illegal.

According to Lusa, the pay-out must include ‘interest’ due on all monies owing

This however has been a long time coming.

SNPVAC, the national union of civil aviation flight personnel, recalls Crewlink/ Ryanair had been found guilty in a previous case (dating back to 2018) when 14 cabin crew members were targeted for dismissal as part of a European strike of Ryanair crewmembers.

The union said that “despite being late, this decision confirms what it has stated since the beginning, when dismissals by Ryanair were perpetuated.

SNPVAC says it expects the same outcome in cases still underway, relating to what it calls “the disguised dismissals of around 40 crew members at the bases of Ponta Delgada, Porto and Lisbon”.

SNPVAC also recalls that “this decision comes after public blackmail of the Portuguese state by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, with another of his tactics to obtain better rates of profit, shamelessly stating that if the slots left by [rival airline] TAP at Lisbon airport were not awarded, he would be forced to lay off 150 workers and close 20 routes.

“Once again we are witnessing clear manipulation by the company, as many of these workers will not lose their jobs, but will be transferred to the Porto base, where at the end of this month they will operate three more aircraft, making a total of 13,” the union continues, noting that other crew members “contracted for six months on a fixed-term basis, will in fact be laid off.

“SNPVAC regrets that these workers will lose their jobs due to tactics and moves by Ryanair, which confirms the modus operandi of the company.” 

SNPVAC actually returned to the remarks of Ryanair CEO Michael O´Leary earlier this week, describing them “as an unspeakable attempt at blackmail”. The union “hopes the State will not give in to this shameful pressure, as the Government and the country cannot be held hostage by a company that does not comply with Portuguese legislation.”

Source: Lusa