Published: Wed, December 20, 2017
Money | By Michele Stevens

Ryanair's O'Leary warns unions ahead of first-ever talks

Ryanair's O'Leary warns unions ahead of first-ever talks

Trade union IMPACT described the first meeting with the airline's management as an important, historic day.

Ryanair pilots chose to call off the industrial action after the airline caved in to demands and agreed to recognized unions, a decision that totally contravened their previous 32 year-long stance on unionship.

The Dublin-based carrier said it would recognise the unions "as long as they establish committees of Ryanair pilots... as Ryanair will not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines".

"Ryanair will now change its long-standing policy of not recognising unions in order to avoid any threat of disruption to its customers and its flights from pilot unions during Christmas week".

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The carrier has agreed to first meetings with pilot unions from Ireland, Portugal and Germany this week.

He added that Ryanair reps were handed a deadline of noon on Thursday to acknowledge the union in writing, adding: "The union reiterated its position that its mandate for strike action can be implemented, after the required notice is given, in the absence of a timely agreement".

It is hoped that the talk will be able to end the strike that could affect thousands of passengers over the Christmas period.

A company spokesman said: "It will lead on in the new year to meetings with other EU pilot unions, and cabin crew unions in due course as well".

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"He has said in the past that hell would freeze over before he would recognise unions".

The pilots were threatening to strike in regards to better working conditions and being recognised.

After a turbulent few months, which included a raft of pilot roster-related cancellations, a spotlight on pilots' conditions and the threat of strike action, Ryanair agreed to talks with pilot unions December 15.

It is understood that talks between the airline and representatives of pilot unions will be held in the immediate future but that no further strike action is planned for the forthcoming future.

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