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

Ryanair to meet with union today to avoid tomorrow's pilot strike action

In a statement issued in the aftermath of the meeting, IMPACT said that Ryanair "were unable to give the union a piece of paper to confirm" the fact that Ryanair recognised IMPACT/IALPA (Irish Air Line Pilots' Association) for collective bargaining purposes, something that Ryanair had acknowledged publicly in recent days.

In a statement issued last night, Impact said it has agreed to meet Ryanair management tomorrow evening, but stressed that it is available to meet sooner.

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

Following its announcement last week, budget airline Ryanair confirmed on Tuesday that it will recognise pilot unions for the first time in its history and that it will meet with cabin crew unions, as it looks to avert a strike in the run-up to Christmas.

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

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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'. The union called on Ryanair to talk to flight attendants' representatives too.

Ryanair's chief people officer Eddie Wilson said earlier last week the company's long-standing policy of not recognising workers' groups is changing now.

The planned strikes would have significantly affected the airline's Dublin operations, with its Dublin based directly employed pilots originally planning to stop work on December 20.

"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".

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