The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) is seeking to remove the chair of Ryanair as he seeks re-election at the airline’s annual general meeting.
The forum advised its members to vote against the re-election of David Bonderman on 20 September when shareholders meet with Ryanair’s board in Dublin, citing concerns over the length of his tenure and his independence.
The airline is engaged in a dispute with trade unions over worker conditions and labour laws, which has recently led to strikes and cancelled flights.
“Ryanair has failed to adequately address concerns about the company’s troubled relationship with its employees and the potential impact on its business,” said Ian Greenwood (Lab), LAPFF chair and Bradford City MDC councillor.
“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.”
Mr Greenwood added that Mr Bonderman “has been chairman for too long and there are significant doubts about his independence” and “ability to influence” Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary – a controversial and outspoken figure.
Mr Bonderman has been on Ryanair’s board for 22 years and used to lead Irish Air LP, an investment vehicle that was an early backer of the air carrier.
LAPFF also called on its members, which include more than 75 local authority pension scheme funds with combined assets of about £230bn, to vote against Ryanair’s financial statements and reports, citing concerns around its business model in the wake of the strikes.
In a statement, Ryanair said: ”Ryanair shareholders will pass all AGM resolutions by a large majority this year, including the nomination of directors and chairman, as they have done in all previous years.
“They appreciate how fortunate we are to have an outstanding chairman like David Bonderman guide the board and the airline.”