Published: Fri, December 22, 2017
Markets | By Josh Butler

Ryanair says formally recognises Irish pilots' union

Ryanair says formally recognises Irish pilots' union

In a statement Thursday, the Cockpit union called on pilots to strike from 5:01 8:59 a.m. local time (0401 to 0759 GMT) at German airports.

German union VC called for the strike on Thursday and said that 16 flights would be affected.

On that basis, the company's confirmation meant the danger of industrial action had "receded for the present", the union added.

The strike call comes a day after Ryanair called off an opening round of talks at short notice on the grounds that it rejected two of the five union negotiators taking part, according to the union.

Update 4.35pm: Ryanair is facing a four hour strike by pilots in Germany three days before Christmas.

"Ryanair will continue to engage with the VC union and its German pilots to try to agree a CLA in early January, so tomorrow's four-hour strike serves no goal other than to disrupt thousands of German passengers in Christmas week, exclusively so that the VC can impose a non-elected, non-Ryanair pilot (who is now suing the airline) on its Ryanair Pilots Council", the company said.

IMPACT told Ryanair the threat of strike action remained if it didn't put its union recognition in writing, quickly.

The move eased tensions but unions warned that strikes remained an option if the Dublin-based carrier was not serious about the discussions.

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"Ryanair has also submitted a set of proposals on pay and conditions, procedures and dispute resolution for its Irish-based pilots, and looks forward to concluding an early agreement on these issues with its Irish Ryanair pilot company council".

"In the history of the VC, there has never been a case in which the collective bargaining autonomy has been trampled on by an employer as it is now the case with Ryanair".

Cockpit did not immediately respond to AFP requests for further information.

Last week, Ryanair broke from its long-standing policy of refusing to recognise unions.

The fiasco triggered pilots' demands for better working conditions and representation, with some departing for other carriers.

Not recognising unions was at the heart of O'Leary's low-priced business model that helped transform a small Irish regional airline into Europe's largest carrier by passenger numbers.

The union said it will meet Ryanair management on 3 January to agree a comprehensive recognition agreement that will establish collective bargaining procedures at the airline.

Despite the recent troubles, it still expects to deliver annual profits after tax of 1.40 billion-1.45 billion euros ($1.65 billion-1.71 billion).

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