Ryanair takes France to human rights court

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low fares airline, has challenged a recent ruling by the French supreme court (Conseil d’Etat), which sought to deny Ryanair’s employees located in Marseille the right to rely on Irish labour law in their relationship with Ryanair. Ryanair’s Head of Regulatory Affairs and Company Secretary, Jim Callaghan, said:

‘The 2006 French Decree No 1425 was aimed at forcing Ryanair’s pilots and cabin crew operating international routes to/from France to be subject to French labour law, irrespective of the fact that they are working on Irish registered aircraft and contracts. This was clearly in breach of French, European and international laws. Ryanair is committed to defending the rights of its employees, including the right of its employees operating on Irish territory to rely on Irish labour law, and has therefore challenged the legality of the Decree.

‘The French supreme court, which had earlier advised the French government on the legality of the Decree, was also the same body that rejected Ryanair’s request to refer this matter to the European Court of Justice and then ruled that the Decree was lawful. This bizarre confusion of consultative and judicial functions within the French supreme court, as well as certain other aspects of the French procedure, denied Ryanair the right to fair trial and made it necessary for us to seek justice in the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Ryanair is confident that the European Court of Human Rights will correct the obvious injustice caused by the French judicial system and allow Ryanair’s employees working on Irish aircraft and on Irish contracts to continue to enjoy Ryanair’s industry leading pay and employment conditions under Irish law’.