UK public pension group to oppose Ryanair at AGM

Published:Friday, September 14, 2018
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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has recommended members vote against Ryanair’s financial report at the company’s annual meeting next week and also oppose the re-election of its chairman.

A Ryanair aircraft stands on the tarmac at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport during a strike of their pilots and cabin crew in Hahn, near Frankfurt, Germany, September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

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 strikes in recent months and was forced to cancel 150 of its 400 German flights on Wednesday after a walkout by pilots and crew. A one-day strike is planned across five countries on Sept. 28.

The company’s annual meeting will take place on Sept. 20 and the strike threat is designed to try to force the airline to reach a settlement with unions at that time.

“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 shareholder value.”

The LAPFF could not immediately confirm how large a stake its members hold in the airline.

It added that Ryanair chairman David Bonderman had been in the role too long and there were “significant doubts” about his independence. Bonderman has been in the job since 1996.

“He has failed to take a lead on employee relations and making sure customers are happy,” Greenwood said.

“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.”

Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Maiya Keidan/Keith Weir

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