Ryanair offers to recognise unions in bid to avert Xmas strikes

Ryanair planes parked at Stansted Airport in England

The airline said Saturday that it was prepared to meet representatives from Impact, to which the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (IALPA) is affiliated, on Tuesday in a bid to avert the strike.

However it said it would not be able to meet with IMPACT until Wednesday - which is the day the strike is due to begin.

It is understood the IMPACT trade union is considering the offer.

"Ryanair has also offered to meet IMPACT/IALPA and their Ryanair pilot committee on Tuesday 19 December if that would suit them better", added the statement.

RYANAIR will announce "contingency plans" for passengers facing a 24-hour strike in the run-up to Christmas tomorrow.

It said it would "not engage with pilots who fly for competitor airlines in Ireland or elsewhere".

The BALPA union said it had accepted Ryanair's offer to represent British-based pilots, but only if the TUC federation of British trade unions was allowed to attend future talks.

The suspended industrial action had been planned with the support of 94 percent of pilots directly employed by Ryanair in Ireland.

In its latest statement Ryanair has now said that it will "change its long standing policy of not recognizing unions in order to avoid any threat of disruption to its customers and its flights from pilot unions during Christmas week".

In its statement this afternoon, the airline said: "Ryanair has again called on IMPACT/ IALPA to cancel the threatened industrial action on Wednesday Dec 20 (as the Italian and German unions have already done) which is causing unnecessary concern and worry for thousands of Ryanair customers travelling home during Christmas week".

"Union meetings planned next week and January".

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