German pilot unions fly in for meeting with Ryanair


Ryanair has said it will recognise cabin crew unions and hold meetings in the new year, as it prepared to start its first ever talks with pilots' unions in Dublin on Tuesday.

IMPACT said it would meet Ryanair on Tuesday evening, and hoped the suspension of industrial action would remove any uncertainty for passengers intending to travel on Wednesday.

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.

"We think this is disappointing given all that's been said in the media over the last five days by the company".

He said Ryanair was honest about embracing the collective bargaining model, and would not be attending today's meeting if they were not.

IMPACT described today's first meeting with management as an important, historic day.

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It also confirmed it will recognise cabin crew unions.

Financial analysts had calculated yesterday that the decision to recognise pilots unions could add €150 million to the annual payroll - with an even higher cost once unions representing 8,000 cabin crew are factored in.

The unions said they gave Ryanair a series of proposals to consider and requested a response by midday (1200 GMT) on Thursday, a schedule which the no-frills airline has not yet committed to.

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

Pilots suspended their strike to allow for talks but reserved the right to resume their industrial action if Ryanair does not engage in good faith.

"We have had a number of threatened strikes across a number of countries in Europe and to protect our passenger's travel plans over the Christmas period we've chose to make that decision now".