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Ryanair strike to go ahead unless airline management meets with union

The dispute centres around employe conditions, with pilots asking that they be allowed to negotiate using unions, and Ryanair refusing to recognise unions.

Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Updated at 5.20pm

A STRIKE OF Ryanair pilots is set to go ahead next week unless company management meet with the Impact union before it is scheduled.

Irish Ryanair pilots who are members of Ialpa – which is part of the Impact trade union – announced earlier this week that they would be holding a strike this Wednesday over employee conditions.

The Ireland pilots were to be joined in their action by Portugal, while pilots in Germany, Italy and Spain had all said that were considering undertaking industrial action.

The dispute centres around employe conditions, with pilots asking that they be allowed to negotiate using unions, and Ryanair refusing to recognise unions.

That changed yesterday when the airline said that it would give pilot unions recognition as official organisations – marking a major break from the budget carrier’s longstanding policy.

Christmas flights are “very important to our customers,” O’Leary said in a statement.

The airline, he said, wished to remove “any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week”.

If the best way to achieve this is to talk to our pilots through a recognised union process, then we are prepared to do so, and we have written today to these unions inviting them to talks to recognise them and calling on them to cancel the threatened industrial action planned for Christmas week.

It was hoped that this would help to avert Wednesday’s strike action.

However, speaking to RTÉ News today, Impact spokesperson Bernard Harbor said that the union wanted to meet with Ryanair officials before the strike was called off.

“We are ready to meet them today or tomorrow if necessary and we want to have that meeting just to make sure that there is substance to the offer they made in writing and to flesh out how that recognition process would proceed,” he said.

Once we have that we’re ready to lift the industrial action but we need to do that first.

Ryanair has previously said that it will not be able to meet with union officials until Wednesday.

In a statement today, a spokesperson for Ryanair said:

“Ryanair today confirmed that the German pilot union and IMPACT/IALPA have agreed to Ryanair’s offer of meetings to agree union recognition on Wednesday 20 December.

“Ryanair has also offered to meet IMPACT/IALPA and their Ryanair pilot committee on Tuesday 19 December if that would suit them better.

“The Portuguese pilot union has requested a meeting next week and Ryanair has offered to meet them on Thursday 21 December. The British and Italian pilots’ unions have agreed to meet with Ryanair in early January.

Ryanair has again called on IMPACT/ IALPA to cancel the threatened industrial action on Wednesday 20 December (as the Italian and German unions have already done) which is causing unnecessary concern and worry for thousands of Ryanair customers travelling home during Christmas week.

Read: ‘We will play fair’: Ryanair’s recognition of unions welcomed by aviation groups

Read: ‘This may lead to disruptions’: Ryanair to publish contingency plans on strike action this Monday

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