Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Unions willing to open talks after Ryanair boss makes U-turn

Unions willing to open talks after Ryanair boss makes U-turn

The planned Ryanair pilot's strike on December 20th may still go ahead unless management from Ryanair meets with the union before the strike date.

The Irish carrier said it would hold talks with unions in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal to recognize them as long as they established a committee made up exclusively of Ryanair pilots, "as Ryanair will not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines in Ireland or elsewhere".

"Putting the needs of our customers first, and avoiding disruption to their Christmas flights, is the reason why we will now deal with our pilots through recognised national union structures and we hope and expect that these structures can and will be agreed with our pilots early in the New Year". Ryanair warned it will not deal with pilots flying for other airlines.

But Ryanair says the soonest it can meet is Wednesday - the day of the planned strike.

Mr Harbor said IMPACT had spoken to senior Ryanair management, telling them they were ready to meet them at any time.

"Recognising unions will be a significant change for Ryanair, but we have delivered radical change before, most recently when we launched Ryanair Labs and our highly successful Always Getting Better customer improvement programme in 2013".

"Once we have that we're ready to lift the industrial action, but we need to do that first", he told RTÉ Radio One on Saturday.

The Dublin-based airline said it would accept the unions "as long as they establish committees of Ryanair pilots... as Ryanair will not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines".

"Given the seriousness of the situation I think it would be good if they could move their diaries around and find availability", he said.

Mr O'Leary said the pilots should call off the threat.

IMPACT confirmed it has received correspondence from Ryanair management on Friday morning.

It adds that British and Italian unions have already agreed to meetings with the airline, and have called off the threatened strike in Italy.

Her organisation has affiliates in about 150 countries, including Siptu and Impact in the Republic.

After Ryanair announced that it would recognise pilots' unions, its chief people officer Eddie Wilson indicated that it could do the same for cabin crew.

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