Ryanair offers to recognise unions in bid to avert Xmas strikes


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Ryanair pilots were planning strike action for Wednesday but it has been suspended.

Today Impact union bosses have suspended the strike and will meet with the budget airline's management on Tuesday evening for crisis talks.

Ryanair pilots in Portugal decided on Sunday to suspend their strike set for December 20 after the company agreed to recognise the unions and negotiate on Friday in a surprise decision, Portugal's Union of Civil Aviation Pilots (SPAC) said.

"Ryanair has also offered to meet Impact/IALPA, and their Ryanair pilot committee on Tuesday, December 19, if that would suit them better", read the statement.

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The threat of a wave of strike action across Europe by Ryanair pilots prompted the airline to make one of the biggest U-turns in its history on Friday.

Niall Shanahan, a spokesman for Impact, a union to which IALPA is affiliated, said: "We indicated to Ryanair that we were happy to meet them on Wednesday, but we would not be in a position to consider suspending the scheduled industrial action until we met them".

It said it would "not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines in Ireland or elsewhere".

Union chiefs had earlier insisted the strike action would go ahead unless management agreed to meet before Wednesday.

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Ryanair pilots could still strike just days before Christmas.

Ryanair has never recognised unions, but it said it would change this policy in order to avoid disruption to flights and passengers in Christmas week.

There were hopes of a breakthrough yesterday when the airline agreed to their demand for union recognition.

"Union meetings planned next week and January".

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