Wednesday, 1 February 2012

John Foley disrupts Everton match to highlight exploitation by Ryanair

Last night John Foley, who runs the Ryanair Don't Care Campaign, staged a direct action stunt at Goodison Park. During the match between Everton and Manchester City, John handcuffed himself to a goalpost. The protest was aimed at Ryanair executive Michael O'Leary, who is a Man City fan and was reportedly at the game.

The incident happened just before half time. John was able to stay on the pitch and disrupt the game for five minutes, refusing requests to leave, before the police used bolt cutters on his handcuffs and led him away. He spent a night in the cells before being bailed. He will appear before Liverpool Magistrates Court on 17 February, charged with going onto the playing area under the 1991 Football Offences Act for his pitch invasion.

A full interview with John over the incident can be seen here.

The Ryanair Don't Care campaign was founded in order to draw attention to Ryanair's "Recruitment for termination," whereby staff are sacked before their training is complete whilst the company still pockets both their €3,000 training fee and the value of their labour. Many, such as John's daughter who suffered under the scam, are left stranded abroad as a result.

Previous actions to draw attention to the company's recruitment scamming include a banner drop on the roof of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, an invasion of the racetrack at Cheltenham during the Ryanair Chase and an occupation of the rooftop of Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The campaign is fully supported by Liverpool Solidarity Federation, who are calling for an International Week of Action against Ryanair on the 12-18 March. This call is supported by Solidarity Federation nationally and is being circulated to other sections of the International Workers' Association. John has also been pushing for support amongst other trade unions and workers organisations around the globe.

All power to John in his continuing and tireless efforts to promote this cause. What needs to happen now is that action against their employer on a global scale motivates Ryanair workers to organise. Recruitment for termination is a particularly insidious form of exploitation and it needs to be tackled.