WorkRights, the private for-profit trades union founded by former Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has posted a post-tax profit of €1.2m after its first year of operation. O’Leary, addressing the company’s first AGM, welcomed the profit result as vindication of his belief that old fashioned trades unions were failing their members, and that an AA style operation would better serve modern employees.
“How is it that in a single year we have signed up 42,000 workers at a membership fee of €150 per annum? I’ll tell you how. Because WorkRights stands up for all its members, not just the ones who work in the public sector. And I’ll tell you another thing. WorkRights executives don’t have anywhere near the feathernested packages of ICTU and SIPTU big cheese! We put our membership fees into providing services for our members.”
Since opening business in 2019, WorkRights has provided employment law advice to or represented over 12,000 non-unionised workers at the Labour Court, Rights Commissioners and Labour Relations Commission, as well as negotiated special pension, health insurance and other benefits for its members. O’Leary famously received a salary of €1 for his time as CEO, having promised that he could represent ordinary Irish workers better than “that crowd of hairy Hoxhas in Liberty Hall.”
SIPTU and ICTU delegates could not be reached for comment.