Saturday, 30 May 2020

Ryanair's Austrian operation Lauda shuts down Vienna base

Laudamotion the Austrian sideline carrier of Ryanair confirmed on Friday that it would be it was closing down its Vienna base following a row with unions over pay and conditions.  The airline has already relocated many aircraft to other bases for storage during the pandemic. The move was part of the blackmail ploy by Ryanair's boss Michael O’Leary who had previously threatened the Lauda staff unless they agreed to a significant pay cut he was close its home base and bring in Ryanair crew and planes. 

Whilst the Vida union said it was aware everyone had to "make a contribution in times of crisis, however, the contracts Lauda was offering would push the income of employees that work full time and in shifts to below the “poverty threshold” was “out of proportion.”

A Lauda spokesperson confirmed the shut-down would see over 370 people lose their jobs and the airline would keep its bases in Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Palma. Some of the airline's aircraft have been transferred to Duesseldorf,  London Stansted and Palma de Mallorca.

There has been much speculation in the local media that Ryanair was about to pull the plug on the whole Lauda operation, especially after news broke that the airline group had refused to pay the May salaries around 200 staff in Germany after the local office rejected proposals on reduced working hours.

The Lauda spokesperson claims this was purely an "organisational problem." and it was "working very hard to pay out the wages.".

One can only wonder what Niki Lauda, who had a long history of treating employees with consideration, respect and above all, fairness, would have thought of an airline bearing his name would think of the way the staff are being treated. 

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