Ryanair writes to IMPACT setting out details of union recognition

Little disruption from the first-ever strike at RyanairMore

Ryanair has not previously recognised unions, but it last week said it would change this policy in order to avoid disruption to flights and passengers in Christmas week.

IMPACT said the company's confirmation that it recognised the union, with effect from today and would conclude a comprehensive agreement, meant the danger of industrial action had receded "for the present".

"Clearly one of the upsides of engaging in union recognition from our point of view is that it opens up growth opportunities for us in France and Scandinavia, countries that were previously closed to us because we felt it was going to involve mandatory union recognition", O'Leary said.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary had said the carrier wanted to remove "any worry or concern" that passengers' Christmas flights might be disrupted by pilot industrial action.

A trade union representing Ryanair pilots insisted yesterday it would not rule out strikes if the Irish no-frills airline did not give it formal recognition within 24 hours.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) trade union confirmed all pilots directly employed by the airline are being asked to join a walk-out from 5.01am until 8.59am (local time) on Friday. "This is serious", he said.

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The company said it would only negotiate with pilots who worked for the company and VC officials and so the talks were halted.

"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 is now the case with Ryanair".

Impact had sought written confirmation from Ryanair that it would recognise the union for collective bargaining purposes by noon on Thursday before lifting a threat that pilots at Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports would strike.

It went on: "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". "Rather, Ryanair is trying to win time and attempting to delay the beginning of collective bargaining", Schumacher said.

Described by Ryanair as "the first step in the union recognition process", the Dublin talks received a cautious response from unions Impact and the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA).

The carrier said it would recognise unions as the representative body for pilots in Ryanair "as long as they establish committees of Ryanair pilots to deal with Ryanair issues, as Ryanair will not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines in Ireland or elsewhere".

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