Ryanair finds it hard to change

As Ryanair’s management works on its takeover bid for Aer Lingus, disgruntled Ryanair employees across Europe are campaigning hard to gain union recognition, which they say is being denied them by the Irish low-cost carrier.


This action has led to a strike in Spain by its baggage handlers, while in Italy staff are refusing to sell food, hot drinks and alcohol on board flights.


It seems clear that Ryanair’s management will fight doggedly to keep unions out of the carrier for as long as possible, but it can only be a rearguard action.


Perhaps the time is overdue for its combustible boss Michael O’Leary to take a leaf out of mentor Herb Kelleher’s book and build the family ethos made so famous at Herb’s Southwest Airlines at his own carrier.


The problem is that Ryanair is now virtually institutionally confrontational – and that is something families find hard to change.

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