UK public pension group to oppose Ryanair at AGM
* Local Authority Pension Fund Forum concerned about firm
* Backs 'oppose' votes on report, accounts, chairman
* Comes amid staff strikes, flight cancellations
(Adds Polish union complaint,)
By Simon Jessop and Maiya Keidan
LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Ryanair faced growing
criticism from unions and investors on Friday about how it has
handled an industrial relations revolt ahead of its annual
shareholder meeting next week when its veteran chairman's
position will be challenged.
Britain's Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF)
recommended members vote against Ryanair's financial report at
the Sept. 20 meeting and also oppose the re-election of Chairman
The group, whose members schemes run around 230 billion
pounds ($300 billion) on behalf of teachers, cleaning staff and
other public workers, said its recommendations reflected
"significant concerns" about Ryanair's treatment of workers.
Ryanair has struggled with labour relations in recent months
and endured its worst one-day strike last month, disrupting the
plans of an estimated 55,000 travellers. Another one-day strike
by cabin crew is planned across five countries on Sept. 28.
"Ryanair has failed to adequately address concerns about the
company's troubled relationship with its employees and the
potential impact on its business," LAPFF Chair Ian Greenwood
said in a statement.
"The company faces more strikes and allegations of poor
working conditions continue to emerge. Questions about the
company's business model and governance now pose a threat to
Ryanair praised Bonderman in a statement as an "outstanding"
chairman and predicted that "shareholders will pass all AGM
resolutions by a large majority this year."
A day after Ryanair's received a boost by signing collective
labour agreements with three unions in Italy, one of its major
markets, it faced the prospect of the industrial strife
spreading to Poland, one of its fastest growing markets.
Ryanair refused to accept the registration papers of a newly
formed Polish union and threatened workers with redundancy if
they did not accept self-employment contracts with its Polish
subsidiary, Ryanair Sun, by September 30, the International
Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) said in a statement.
A spokesman for Ryanair said that the ITF claims were false
but declined to specifically respond to each one when asked to
Britain's LAPFF said that Bonderman had been in the role too
long and there were "significant doubts" about his independence.
Bonderman has been in the job since 1996.
It could not immediately confirm how large a stake its
members hold in the airline.
Bonderman also faces opposition to his reappointment from
proxy-advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co and the ITF.
"Ryanair's employment issues highlight long-standing
concerns about governance and in particular Mr Bonderman’s
oversight role as chair of the board and his ability to
influence the CEO, Michael O'Leary," Greenwood said.
($1 = 0.7636 pounds)
(Additional reporting by Padraic Halpin and Graham Fahy in
Dublin; Editing by Keith Weir)
First Published: 2018-09-14 15:12:52
Updated 2018-09-14 17:03:44
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