Ryanair to recognise unions in bid to stop strikes

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LCC to recognise unions for the first time in its history

Ryanair is prepared to recognise pilot unions, its chief executive Michael O’Leary said this morning, as its pilots prepare to strike across Europe in the run-up to Christmas.

If it happens, it would be the first time in the low-cost carrier’s history that it recognised unions.

Pilots in Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Spain have all announced they will strike or are considering specific days for walkouts.

This includes a strike by pilots and flight attendants in Italy for four hours this afternoon and strikes by Portuguese and Irish unions on December 20.

Christmas flights are “very important to our customers”, O’Leary said this morning. The airline wants 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.”

Recognising unions would be “a significant change for Ryanair”, he added.

On one condition…
However, he demanded the condition that committees of Ryanair pilots must first be established to deal with Ryanair issues “as Ryanair will not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines in Ireland or elsewhere”.

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