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Ryanair moves towards recognising pilot unions

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Ryanair has said it is prepared to recognise pilot unions as it seeks to avoid strike disruption over the Christmas period.Earlier this week, 79 Dublin-based Ryanair pilots had said they would strike for one day on 20 December.The airline was also facing action by pilots in Italy, Germany and Portugal.Ryanair has never recognised unions, but it said it would change this policy in order to avoid disruption to flights and passengers in Christmas week.It has written to pilot unions in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal inviting them for talks.The carrier said it would recognise these unions “as the representative body for pilots in Ryanair in each of these countries, 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”.Ryanair called on the unions to cancel the planned strike on 20 December.Pilots in Italy are due to strike later on Friday for four hours, between 13:00 and 17:00 CET (12:00-16:00 GMT). Chief executive Michael O’Leary admitted union recognition would be a “significant change” for the airline.”Christmas flights are very important to our customers and we wish to remove any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week,” he said. “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.”
Source: BBC