Ryanair and union agree to meet for talks ahead of planned strike by Dublin-based pilots

The Fórsa trade union has said it still expects Thursday's strike to go ahead

Ryanair and union agree to meet for talks ahead of planned strike by Dublin-based pilots

File photo shows a Ryanair aircraft taking off at Dublin Airport in 2014 | Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Ryanair pilots and management are to meet on Wednesday, but Thursday's strike is still expected to go ahead.

This evening, the Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA) - which is a branch of the Fórsa trade union - confirmed it had accepted an invitation to meet with Ryanair management at a neutral venue on Wednesday.

They had previously refused to meet at the airline's headquarters for talks over issues such as union recognition, base transfers and seniority.

Fórsa said it would keep the location of the meeting confidential - known only to the company and union representative - while Ryanair has tweeted that it is willing to meet at Dublin Airport.

In a statement, IALPA said: "Fórsa wrote to the company this afternoon (Monday) to confirm the pilots’ body has proposed and reserved a ‘neutral’ venue in order to allay concerns expressed by Ryanair that a meeting between the parties would risk becoming a ‘media circus’".

Despite the ongoing differences, the union said it's determined to work towards resolving the issue of a seniority agreement for pilots.

However, Fórsa warned that it expects Thursday's planned strike will go ahead.

In a letter to the union, meanwhile, Ryanair wrote: "We offer this neutral venue to demonstrate our good faith, but we expect all future meetings with our employees will take place at our Airside offices."

Passengers can expect to hear from Ryanair tomorrow about any flight disruption or cancellations on Thursday, with the airline saying it is putting together a contingency plan.

Ryanair agreed to recognise unions last December, in a bid to avoid planned strikes over the Christmas period.