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Ryanair caught napping: ITF comment

The ITF, the global trade union federation that sounded the alarm over conditions at Ryanair, has welcomed ‘Caught Napping’, Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on the airline.Ingo Marowsky, Secretary of the ITF’s Civil Aviation Section, described the footage of exhausted crews barely able to carry out their duties as “Shocking to the viewer, but not to anyone who’s worked for Ryanair.”

“Dispatches has helped lift the lid on the fact that in Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair frontline staff are being worked to the point of exhaustion. The programme showed exhausted and overworked crews, dirty planes and security lapses - proving what we, trade unions and whistleblowers within the business have been saying for years. The makers deserve to be congratulated.”

In 2004 the International Transport Workers’ Federation launched a website that allowed Ryanair workers to discuss their work without fear of reprisals from the virulently anti-union O’Leary.

It quickly revealed what the ITF described as “catalogue of misery, low pay and oppression”, with workers describing how they worked 12 hour days without breaks, flew when ill, and of how they had to pay for their uniforms, training and even the water they need to drink on flights.