City of Copenhagen owns Ryanair stock

A review of the municipality's stock holdings revealed that it is one of the airline's investors.

City of Copenhagen owns Ryanair stock
Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Scanpix

The city of Copenhagen, whose mayor Frank Jensen recently banned its 45,000 employees from using Ryanair, nevertheless owns stocks in the controversial airline, according to Politiken.

The municipality has been in a highly publicized battle with Ryanair over the last few months about the company’s lack of a Danish collective bargaining agreement and the low wages paid to its employees, which has been fought in the courts and also led to a Twitter feud.

See also: Copenhagen mayor takes on Ryanair

Lars Weiss, head of the Social Democrats the city council, explained that the municipality had not been aware of its stock holding in Ryanair until it was recently discovered during a regularly scheduled review of its investments.

“We are continually investing our liquid assets in stocks through investment funds. One of those funds has bought stocks in Ryanair, but they will be sold as soon as possible,” he told Politiken.

The earliest the stocks can be sold is in late summer, which is the next time the municipality’s financial committee meets. Though the size of the investment was not revealed, the municipality has hundreds of millions of kroner allocated to investment funds at any given time.

It is also the last time the municipality will be investing in Ryanair, as the company will henceforth feature on a so-called “negative list” of stocks that the municipality will not allow the investment funds to purchase.

Ryanair’s entry into Copenhagen has been full of turbulence, with the airline and Danish labour unions in an ongoing war of words since Ryanair announced its intentions for a Copenhagen base in October 2014. 

The company has repeatedly rejected the notion that its operations in Denmark should be a concern of the labour unions, arguing that “Ryanair is a company with good employee conditions” and that its “presence in Copenhagen will create many new jobs,” as the company’s personnel director Eddie Wilson said at a February press conference. 

A marathon session in the Danish Labour Court (Arbejdsretten) on Monday failed to reached a conclusion on whether budget Irish airline Ryanair’s Copenhagen Airport operations are subject to the labour laws of Denmark or Ireland.

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