Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary stated that British people don’t want baggage handlers. This was despite staff shortages and strikes planned at Heathrow Airport.
The low budget airline has been ‘completely unaffected’ by airport chaos this summer which has seen others British airlines cancel thousands of flights due in part to staff shortages.
In contrast, Mr O’Leary said Ryanair was prepared for the return of pre-Covid levels of travel because it could see the ‘recovery coming’ and got its staff back to work early.
He stated that unlike other competitors, his Irish firm can profit from the European Labour market, not being faced with British workers not wanting to work in hospitality or baggage handling at airports.
His comments come as thousands of British Airways staff including cabin crew and engineers have threatened to plunge airports and airlines into yet more chaos during the school holidays.
Unions are asking over 16,000 workers if they want to join the more than 700 BA staff who have already committed to a walk-out over pay at Heathrow Airport during the summer.
Ryanair has also been affected by its strike in Europe. Staff walked out in Belgium and France this weekend, Portugal, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Portugal.
Check-in and flight delays at UK airports have been so frustrating that passengers endured it for months.
And today furious passengers landed in Heathrow to see baggage left throughout arrivals while holidaymakers at Manchester were told that they face 12 hours to board a delayed flight.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary (pictured), said that British people don’t want to handle baggage.
Low-budget airlines have been “completely unaffected” by this summer’s airport chaos, which saw other British airlines cancel thousands of flights. Pictured: Hundreds of suitcases continue to mount up at Heathrow Terminal 2
Mr O’Leary’s comments come as over 16,000 of British Airways staff including cabin crew and engineers have threatened to plunge airports and airlines into yet more chaos. Image: Take off of the BA flight
MANCHESTER AERPORT: People are seen today lying on the floor, as they watch flight delays at Terminal 2
MANCHESTER, AIRPORT: A woman travels in a suitcase while passengers wait to get to Palma.
HEATHROW AIRPORT – One passenger was at the airport and saw bags everywhere as they waited for theirs.
HEATHROW AIRPORT: TV’s Nick Dixon, correspondent at Good Morning Britain, arrived from Amsterdam at Terminal 3 in Heathrow to see piles of baggage at arrivals
TUI representatives were seen telling passengers today that their flight from London to Palma was delayed by 12 hours.
Customers were seen waiting on the floors of Manchester Airport while others waited for another issue to be resolved. Meanwhile, more passengers were left impatiently waiting to check in at TUI and Pegasus airlines.
ITV’s Nick Dixon, correspondent at Good Morning Britain, arrived from Amsterdam at Terminal 3 in Heathrow to see piles of baggage at arrivals.
Dixon stated:[I’m] trying to locate my lost bag and staff just said “sorry, the whole industry in a mess.”‘
One passenger was also changing flights at Heathrow and saw bags everywhere. There were passengers waiting anxiously at the conveyor belts, while their luggage arrived.
Ashley Burke, a reporter at CBC’s Parliamentary Bureau, also said on Twitter when she arrived there was a 10 min delay on the plan but quick walk through security of about 15 mins.
While she wasn’t able to check the bag, she claimed that she had seen’scattered items’. [luggage]All over the baggage claim area.
Ashley Burke of CBC stated that “there are bags everywhere” when she landed in Heathrow.
HEATHROW AIRPORT – More bags on trolleys in arrivals
MANCHESTER AIRPORT – Passengers endured months of waiting for check in, flight cancellations, and baggage problems at UK airports. Today is no different.
Passengers had to stand in queues yesterday at Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports.
Experts in airports have highlighted the issue of recruitment post-Covid.
However, Ryanair, which was primarily located in London Stanstead, Dublin Airports and other locations, seems to have survived the ordeal largely unharmed, according to Telegraph.
Between May 7 and June 6, the low cost airline had three cancellations out of its 13,099 flights (0.02%) compared with 142 out of 13,010 (1.09%) British Airways flights. While easyJet had 16,425 flights with 636 (3.87%) cancelled.
Ryanair, which has 19,000 employees and is located in Dublin (Ireland), employs staff from all over Europe.
For other airlines such as BA and easyJet cancelling flights, the boss of this airline has blamed Europe’s rigid Labour market.
Mr O’Leary told the Telegraph that Ryanair has been ‘completely unaffected’ as unlike some airlines it saw the recovery coming ‘early’.
MANCHESTER AERPORT: Tui representatives are seen telling passengers their flight from Manchester to Palma was delayed by 12 hours
MANCHESTER, AIRPORT: The wait is over for passengers today
MANCHESTER, AIRPORT: Check in and bag check-in lines were long today
MANCHESTER AIRPORT – The queues that customers face when they try to check out their bags
HEATHROW AERPORT: Baggage can be left in the baggage area at the airport or on the ground.
He said: “I am not re-campaigning for Brexit. But the UK will have to find a way of opening up the Labour Market between the UK, Europe and get people here to do jobs that frankly, British people do not want to do.”
They say they do not want to pick fruits, or do any agricultural work, and they do not want to be in hospitality, security, or handle baggage at airports.
John Grant is the chief analyst of OAG global travel data provider OAG. He said that Ryanair was not dependent on UK labour like BA.
He said that EasyJet had access to more labour but its main bases were in Western European countries facing the same resource problems as the UK.
“Ryanair had a wider range of bases throughout Europe, and retained more of its personnel in certain bases during the pandemics in Eastern Europe.
Gilbert Ott, creator of flight tips website God Save the Points, said Ryanair is also an ‘uncomplicated’ airline with one aircraft, the Boeing 737, and short-haul European services.
He stated, “I think most people don’t realize how long it takes for staff to go through safety checks necessary to fly again.
“Furthermore European countries were first to announce a huge summer of travel without restrictions, giving Ryanair plenty of opportunity to grow and become more aggressive.”
HEATHROW AIRPORT – Another heap of luggage left near the trolleys
HEATHROW AIRPORT – Baggage is left at the airport on piles, and then taken off with trolleys that are not in any order.
O’Leary said also that the recovery of his pilots and cabin crew members (who need to be trained for 8 weeks each month if they work a lot less) was well in progress.
O’Leary stated that both his cabin crew personnel (who need to be retrained every eight weeks in case their work hours are lost) and pilots (who need to fly each month to maintain their licence) were in the air.“Well ahead of the anticipated recovery”
He said, “We ensured that even though we flew without passengers, we still sent pilots and crew up.”
We sent everyone flying at least once per week. They didn’t leave them at home, saying “We’ll call in 18 months after this’s over.”
Ryanair staff started a three-day strike in Belgium, France and Italy yesterday to prevent any disruptions for those returning home from Britain.
Belgium felt the most impact, as Europe’s budget airline cancelled 127 flights from Charleroi to Brussels during the strike.
Ryanair was unable to guarantee between 30-40% of scheduled flights, according to a spokesperson for Brussels South Charleroi Airport.
In response Mr O’Leary said cabin crew with annual salaries of £24,000 and £45,000 are ‘delighted’ to be back in their jobs and ‘working post-Covid’.
He stated that everyone can pay rent. This idea that people are on minimum wage or they don’t get paid when they don’t fly – it’s complete rubbish.
He dismissed potential disruptions because they would affect “less than one percent” of Europe’s company operations.
In a dispute over wages, more than 700 Heathrow ground-handling and check-in staff voted to strike. GMB and Unite will likely set strike dates around July 22 when school breaks begin.
According to aviation data firm Cirium, nearly 1.8 million BA customers are set to fly out from Heathrow during July.
LONDON Stansted Airport – Crowds waited to depart the airport yesterday in Essex.
Nadine Haworth, GMB National Officer, stated: “With grim predictability holidaymakers face massive disruption due to the pigheadedness of British Airways.
The ‘BA has tried to provide crumbs for our members in the form a one-off 10% bonus payment but it isn’t enough.
‘Our members must be reinstated their 10 percent that they took from them last Year with full backpay and the 10 Percent bonus which was paid to other colleagues.
“The Heathrow GMB members have been subjected to untold abuse because they are dealing with travel chaos created by IT failures, staff shortages, and other problems.”
And Unite is looking to add another 16,000 BA workers, made up of cabin crew to engineers, to the strike action.
BA disputes a 10% cut in pay that ground-handling personnel and check-in agents received during Covid when the airlines were trying to keep afloat. Unions demand full compensation amid rising passenger numbers and cost-of-living pressure.
MANCHESTER AERPORT – Yesterday, airport chaos continued as passengers waited in line to check-in at Manchester Airport Terminal 2.
According to Unite, the spokesperson for the union said that British Airways management cannot ignore universal discontent within their workforce. This is in contrast with the fact they ignored the demands of their customers.
BA customers have seen firsthand the chaos in the airline’s service and how it is suffering from its previous disastrous policies of ‘fire & rehire.
“Staff cannot excuse or pay for bad management decisions.
GMB said that it had started a consultation ballot with thousands of additional BA workers including call-centre workers and engineers.
If enough support has been registered, a formal ballot will be held for strike action within a couple of weeks.
Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, stated to BBC Breakfast that he doesn’t believe the cuts will be made for customer check-in employees. Many of our BA members are suffering from the effects of cuts in the business.
They’ve witnessed the company go bust over the years and are furious at how BA exploited the pandemic. The people also want their pay and conditions to be restored.
The possibility of disruptions in summer is even greater, since it also includes employees at Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
GMB and Unite pledged to stop the strike if BA met their demands within one week. If the BA walkouts go ahead, families could be forced to delay or cancel holidays – and face being stuck abroad if flights home are axed.
The unions need to notify their customers two weeks in advance of strikes. Any customers whose flight is grounded can be given a refund, or have their ticket rebooked for a different date on their departure day with another carrier.
It is not clear if there will be enough seats, as airlines have cut their flight schedules because of staff shortages. BA suffered a severe financial loss due to this, as it lost billions of pounds during the pandemic.
About 550 BA aircraft land and take off daily from Heathrow. But this figure is forecast to grow in the summer. BA has begun emergency planning to maintain as many of its flights on strike days.
Half of them are short-haul flights, and half long haul. This action could lead to hundreds of flight cancellations.
LONDON-HEATHROW AIRPORT — Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two was busy yesterday as Britons tried to fly overseas.
Recruitment expert says that changing law to protect agency workers on strike is ‘not possible’
The head of UK’s recruitment agency has warned that changing the law so firms can hire workers as agents to replace employees on strike in industrial disputes won’t work.
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said changes announced by the Government on Thursday were being made with no consultation with agencies and agency workers.
He stated that agencies do not want it and they will not be able to achieve the Government’s goals.
Ministers noted that current laws prohibit employment companies from providing temporary workers as a cover for striking employees. They also stated that this could have a disproportionate effect.
The Government stated that the legislation would repeal certain legal limitations that were deemed ‘burdensome’. It will allow businesses hit by strike action to have access to employment companies that provide short-term staffing services.
Carberry explained that it was a significant change in regulations that govern the recruitment industry. Industry is opposed to this and it’s not pro-business. We call on the Government to reconsider their plans. It will not make a difference in the real world. Including agency workers in strikes only will prolong disputes.
It will not also provide workers as Government needs, which puts agencies and workers in an extremely difficult situation with possible health, safety, and reputational risk. High demand agency workers will choose jobs that do not require them to go over picket lines.
The announcement was strongly criticized by opposition parties and the unions.
Joanne Galbraith Marten, Director of Employment Relations and Legal Services at the Royal College of Nursing stated that “This change would not be democratic and it could lead to serious health problems.” Every industrial action taken by members of the Royal College of Nursing is carefully planned in order to protect patients. Bringing in agency or less skilled workers could pose a risk for patients.
“Health professionals are subject to the harshest anti-trade union laws. They are afraid of being silenced by the government, which knows they’re failing. The patient voice is also silenced when health workers are silenced. All attempts to limit worker rights and to protest unfair treatment of others will be strongly opposed.
The announcement came as rail workers in thousands staged their second strike during the week. This bitter dispute about jobs, pay, and conditions led to four of five cancelled trains.
These changes will take effect in the following weeks, provided they are approved by parliament.
A statutory instrument regarding maximum damages which can be awarded by courts if strikes are deemed unlawful will go out on Friday. According to Downing Street, a second concerning agency workers will be put out on Monday.
According to a spokesperson for No 10, the SI we are laying Monday will… be in force, provided Parliament approves it within two weeks so that it doesn’t impact this week’s actions.
Downing Street stated that strike action at airports would increase passengers’ misery and asked for BA to implement contingency plans.
According to a No10 spokesperson, “This matter is for British Airways and unions. We encourage them to work together in order to reach a solution.”
“We do not want any disruption to passengers. Strike action will only increase the suffering of passengers at airports.
“The Department for Transport (DfT) will look closely at any contingency measures BA may put into place. We expect BA’s contingency plan to minimise disruption to passengers and to make sure that they can reclaim their money if necessary.”
BA said that it was extremely disappointed at the results and that the unions chose to pursue this path of action.
‘Despite the extremely challenging environment and losses of more than £4billion, we made an offer of a 10 per cent payment which was accepted by the majority of other colleagues.
“We are 100% committed to finding a solution together, as we must all work together in order to fulfill our customer’s needs and build our business.
“We will, of course, keep our customers up to date about this situation as it evolves.”
EasyJet will be facing a strike for nine days in Spain next month.
Britain may see strikes in the summer as other unions, representing different professions, push for inflation-busting wage increases.
According to the National Education Union, schools may be among those next to strike action if ministers don’t give ‘inflation plus pay increases for all teachers.
The unions of doctors, nurses, civil service workers and postal workers threaten industrial action to stop pay.
Others have demanded settlements at 5% above inflation, which was 9.1 percent this week.
An aide to the Government stated that official pay reviews bodies would likely recommend raises of up to 5% for public sector workers, according to Financial Times. The budgets will be sufficient to fund these pay hikes.
Manuel Cortes (head of TSSA’s rail union) said that his union might join forces with militant RMT to prevent trains from running during the Commonwealth Games.
Yesterday, Mr Cortes stated that his union which includes nine railway operators and Network Rail staff, was open to plotting walkouts with RMT in order to reach the Commonwealth Games. The games begin on July 28.
He said that he could not rule out the possibility of a 10-day England-hosted event in October 2002.
“It is not impossible that we will all walk out simultaneously. Und ich bin certain, if we strike with the RMT together, no trains will run.
“We may be heading for the greatest strike in railway history since 1926”
The RMT and Network Rail are also at odds with the union over the issue of pay and security.
RMT workers who went on strike Tuesday and yesterday will be striking again tomorrow for 24 hours.
The union may call for another round of strike action as soon as July 9, according to some fears.
Edinburgh Pride’s organizer, however, said it was “really quite tragic” that so many people will miss this year’s event tomorrow due to planned rail strikes.
The UK’s ongoing rail strikes will cause disruption to thousands more services this weekend, affecting passengers across the country.
Jamie Love is the marketing director at Edinburgh Pride. He said that his team anticipates approximately 5,000 attendees from around Scotland’s capital, as opposed to more than 12,000 for 2019.