TD Questions Ryanair Boss Bonus Payment As Airline Shuts Down Cork And Shannon Base

“O’Leary’s €458,000 bonus could have kept 135 workers on the books till spring,” says Bríd Smith TD

Calls for Government to force companies getting wage subsidies to ban CEO bonuses

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has said that the payment of a bonus to Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary was a slap in the face of the workers at the airline who now faced being laid off during winter.

The TD said it is particularly galling that the State was effectively paying the bulk of the airlines wage bill and yet it placed no demands on how the airline treats its workers.

She said: “It is beyond belief that the state is paying huge sums to Ryanair to subsidise the airline’s wage bill, yet it allows this kind of bonus to be paid. Other states have placed strict rules on companies in receipt of this kind of support including stipulations on how they treat their workers, how much they top up their wages, demands that they negotiate with workers’ unions and representatives, and an insistence that extravagant bonuses to CEOs or shareholders are ended during this crisis.”

The TD said the airline was guilty of effectively abusing its workforce and had treated them appallingly.

“The 135 workers at these bases could have been kept on the books of the airline for about the same amount of money the airline has agreed to pay Mr O’Leary.

“While this and other businesses are demanding various supports and challenging public health guidelines, they have shown open contempt for their workers and the people in this state.”

The TD said that Minister Varadkar must now act to ensure that companies getting state support during this crisis can no longer pay these CEO bonuses nor pay shareholders dividends.

“Other countries have placed strict rules on companies getting state support, yet again Ireland is unique in allowing this abuse of state aid and workers,” she added.

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