Uncertainty abounds over planned strike by Ryanair pilots

The carrier said yesterday it would recognise employee trade unions

Uncertainty abounds over planned strike by Ryanair pilots

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Ryanair and the pilots union IALPA seem to be locked in a stand off, just days ahead of a planned strike by some Irish-based pilots.

There were hopes of a breakthrough yesterday when the airline announced that it would agree to their demand for union recognition.

The airline had a long-standing policy that it would never negotiate with trade unions.

IALPA, which is a branch of the IMPACT trade union, said it needed an urgent meeting with management to clarify a number of issues before it would call off the action.

But Ryanair says the soonest it can meet is Wednesday - the day of the planned strike.

IMPACT confirmed it has received correspondence from Ryanair management on Friday morning.

It says: "The union is currently considering the contents of that correspondence and will respond to management."

While Ryanair says: "The IMPACT union promised to call off the strike if Ryanair conceded recognition.

"They've gotten our offer of recognition in writing and we're happy to meet them next week, which itself is the first act in recognising IALPA.

"The sensible course of action is for IALPA to meet with Ryanair next Wednesday, but call off the unnecessary threats of disruption to the Christmas flights of thousands of customers."

It adds that British and Italian unions have already agreed to meetings with the airline, and have called off the threatened strike in Italy.

Aviation journalist Gerry Byrne thinks the pilots are being cautious, as Ryanair's offer does not meet all their demands.

"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.

"Now, that's not what the pilots appear to be looking for.

"What they appear to be looking for is a pan-European representative council".