Ryanair urges pilots to halt strike

Gladys Abbott
December 17, 2017

The Associazione Nazionale Professionale Aviazione Civile (ANPAC) called Ryanair's move "a very important first step", resulting in ANPAC suspending a first walk-out by Ryanair pilots that had been planned for between 1200 and 1600 GMT.

James Phillips, the union's director of global affairs, said: "This was always about getting them to negotiate, not about strikes".

With the threat of pilot strikes looming across Europe, the Irish low-priced carrier has bowed to employee pressure and says it will now accept unions for the first time.

IALPA said it needed an urgent meeting with management to clarify a number of issues before it would call off the action.

Ryanair sent its offer to unions in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Ryanair has about 8,000 cabin crew, but a majority of them work directly for agencies, including Dublin-based Crewlink and Workforce International, rather than for the airline itself.

In the face of threatened industrial action by pilots at some of Ryanair's main bases, the airline announced last week that for the first time it would recognise and negotiate with pilots' unions across Europe.

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"Recognising unions will be a significant change for Ryanair, but we have delivered radical change before, most recently when we launched Ryanair Labs and our highly successful Always Getting Better customer improvement programme in 2013".

Mr O'Leary, who has been outspoken about the role of unions at other carriers in the past, said he wanted to avoid the threat of disruption to customers.

"We hope and expect that these structures can and will be agreed with our pilots early in the New Year".

The planned industrial action comes after Ryanair said in September that it had to cancel 20,000 individual flights which it blamed on a lack of standby pilots due to a failure in its rostering following a rule change by Irish regulators.

But because it primarily involved captains it had the potential to cause severe disruption as planes can not legally or safely fly without the senior pilot.

"It has invited each of them to talks to recognise these unions as the representative body for pilots in Ryanair in each of these countries".

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