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Ryanair Holdings Plc’s year-long dispute with unions took a bizarre turn with the release of CCTV footage the discount carrier says shows cabin crew staging a photo of them being forced to sleep on the floor at Malaga airport in Spain.
The original shot, posted Sunday on a Facebook page critical of Ryanair, appeared to depict staff bedded down at the terminal after being stranded by storms, and was accompanied by the suggestion that the company had “left them there.”
Ryanair exposes fake photo of cabin crew sleeping in crew room. Watch video here: pic.twitter.com/tzTn6EHsKH
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 17, 2018
Ryanair initially apologized for the situation, saying there’d been no available hotel rooms, before posting the video Wednesday with the claim that the initial image was a “fake photo.” The SNPVAC union, which represents the Portuguese crew, said the picture was an accurate illustration of what had happened, with 24 people left overnight without food, drink or “even a place to sit down.”
The incident comes amid an increasingly fractious clash between Ryanair and staff demanding sweetened contracts after a rostering foul-up forced the Dublin-based company to accept unionization. Europe’s biggest budget airline has been rocked by strikes over the summer as Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary seeks to minimize the impact on costs.
Ryanair and the SNPVAC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.