Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Ryanair brings labor unions on board to avoid holiday strike

Ryanair brings labor unions on board to avoid holiday strike

Germany's Cockpit union welcomed Ryanair's move but said it is up to the airline "to underscore the seriousness of its proposal" and called on the company to agree to talks as early as next week.

"Christmas flights are very important to our customers and we wish to remove any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week", said Mr O'Leary this morning.

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.

The airline has now announced that it will recognise pilots' unions in Ireland, as well as in the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany and has asked them to call off their industrial action.

Ryanair said its offer applied to pilots' bodies in those countries, as well as Britain and Spain.

It is believed the company is also considering hiring aircraft and crew from other airlines if its own resources are unable to cope.

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Earlier this week, pilots in Ireland voted for a day of industrial action December 20 and a union representing pilots in Germany threatened walkouts at "any time starting immediately" in disputes over pay and conditions.

"It's part of a process of change that we need to go through", he said.

"This dramatic change in policy has been made to avoid widespread industrial action and disruption to service over the Christmas period", Investec analyst Alex Paterson wrote in a note.

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

An Anpac source said it had received a letter from Ryanair and that talks between the company and the union to establish a national contract would begin soon.

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. That decision could pave the way for a flurry of claims outside of Ireland and a possible increase in employment costs, analysts had said at the time. "In the longer term, the consequences could be profound".

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