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Ryanair set to meet with union for the first time ever today

21 December 2017

Irish-based Ryanair pilots suspended a one-day strike planned for Wednesday ahead of the talks, although their representatives warned further industrial action could be announced "in the absence of a timely agreement".

However, arriving earlier for the meeting with the pilots' union IMPACT, Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew said that expected a total increase of €100 million across pilots and cabin crew, and that there would be no change to the airline's guidance for profitability.

Ryanair is due to meet a pilots' union for the first time in its 32-year history
Ryanair is due to meet a pilots' union for the first time in its 32-year history

Update 9pm: The trade union Impact has said it is disappointed that Ryanair bosses would not give them a document confirming the company's recognition of unions, and readiness to negotiate with them in collective bargaining.

German pilot unions are flying into Dublin this morning for a meeting with Ryanair executives over union recognition. This is disappointing given all that's been said in the media over the last five days.

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"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".

"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".

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The low-priced carrier said it was making the move to avoid "widespread customer disruptions over Christmas".

The decision marks a radical departure in policy for the airline, with Mr O'Leary himself having been vocal in his past criticism of unions.

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While management acknowledged the episode had "damaged" its image, O'Leary offered pilots some improvements in pay and conditions, including bonuses to those who would waive part of their vacation.

Ryanair set to meet with union for the first time ever today