Encourage Airline to Treat Employees Ethically


Target: Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair

Goal: Stop sacrificing the welfare of Ryanair employees for low prices

Anyone who has been in or traveled around Europe knows about Ryanair. The Irish airline is known for its cheap flights and extensive flight maps. However, cheap flights often come with cheap service and quality, a fate that most people accept. A twenty euro flight is not expected to have excellent service. However, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary takes cost-cutting to a new level. The flight attendants and employees of Ryanair are treated quite horribly.

Recently, some flight attendants at Ryanair have gone public with how they are treated in the workplace. Attendants must pay for their own training, for their own uniforms, and for their own ID badges. Also, they must pay back Ryanair for any meals or snacks eaten on the flight. Even worse, they are not compensated justly when they work weekends or holidays. There is no sick leave allowed, and planned vacation time may be pulled out from under them at any point. Employees also can be moved from their base airport at any time, and would be forced to pay for the move themselves.

Today, we call on Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, to treat his employees with more respect. While he claims they can leave at any time, anyone who has tried to find a job recently knows it is not so easy. From a humanist perspective, the moral action would be to start treating employees with respect because they deserve it. From a business perspective, employees who are treated better also work better.


Dear Michael O’Leary,

Ryanair is famous for its strict cost cutting. Normally this is a plus, as we are able to fly from Florence to Barcelona for 30 euros. We are fine with not being treated like first-class passengers if we are paying so little. That is just how economics works — we expect lower-quality for the famously low prices of Ryanair.

However, when it comes to cost cutting, you need to think twice before taking it out on your employees. They deserve to have workers’ rights, and to be compensated for any extra work they do for Ryanair. Additionally, they should not have to pay for their training, and should not have to move without any compensation from the company.

Cost cutting is great, but at a certain point it is more important to keep employees satisfied.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Arpingstone via Wikimedia Commons

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