Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Ryanair brings labor unions on board to avoid holiday strike

Ryanair brings labor unions on board to avoid holiday strike

Ryanair has said that it has agreed to change its longstanding policy and recognise pilot unions in a slew of countries across Europe, including the United Kingdom, to avoid widespread disruption for travellers over the crucial Christmas period.

It has written to pilots' unions in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal inviting representatives to talks.

Ryanair chief operating officer Peter Bellew said the airline was willing to start negotiating with pilot unions on issues related to pay, vacation time and working conditions.

A spokesman said the offer of recognition is being made so far to pilots in six countries but "if other pilot unions who represent our pilots approach us, we will consider their request".

Italy's main pilots' union, Anpac, canceled its participation in a planned four-hour walkout scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Friday.

Ryanair said the union promised to call off the strike if Ryanair conceded recognition.

The airline said it was calling on these pilot unions to call off the threatened industrial action next Wednesday to ensure that people flying home with Ryanair for Christmas could do so without the threat or worry of pilot strikes hanging over them.

The Spanish union SEPLA and its British counterpart BALPA say they are reviewing the offer. The Dublin-based airline said it would accept the unions "as long as they establish committees of Ryanair Ryanair will not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines".

The decision comes after mounting industrial actions were planned at the airline that had looked set to spell travel misery for Christmas flyers.

Europe's biggest airline is trying to avert holiday strikes by offering to recognize pilot unions for the first time. "We're decisive in it", he said.

IMPACT said it was available to meet with Ryanair today or over the weekend for talks but it should emerge later today if pilots will call off their Christmas strike over negotiation rights.

The airline has been due to publish a list of affected flights on Monday, but will hope that this morning's announcement will result in no disruption for passengers.

It has been reported Ryanair may hire planes and draft in European crews to staff flights impacted by next week's strike.

The paper reports that back-up plans may also include the use of captains-in-training based inside and outside the country.

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