Union 'not in a position' to cancel strike by Ryanair pilots

Union 'not in a position' to cancel strike by Ryanair pilots

Ryanair has agreed to recognize pilot unions ahead of a strike threat by a number of its pilots just ahead of the busy Christmas travel weekend.

And an IALPA official warned the talks may come too late to halt a strike.

"We're certainly happy to meet Ryanair on Tuesday", he said.

This afternoon, Ryanair released a statement saying that have offered to meet with IMPACT members on Tuesday, a day before the proposed strike.

"Let's keep talking. Get people home quietly for Christmas", Ryanair Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew said in a statement on Saturday.

The Irish union responded on Sunday that it would be "happy to do that".

The IMPACT union has said that it is not in a position to call off Wednesday's planned strike action by Ryanair pilots until it meets with the company.

A spokesman added: "Once we meet, we can take a decision on deferring industrial action".

Ryanair said on Friday it had written to pilot unions in Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news), the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal in a bid to smooth turbulent industrial relations by offering talks on officially recognising the unions for the first time.

It is the first time Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has extended such an invitation to union leaders in the 32 years the company has been flying.

The Portuguese pilot union has requested a meeting and Ryanair has offered to meet them on Thursday December 21st.

Ryanair staff have planned strike action on December 20.

German union Vereinigung Cockpit said the onus was now on Ryanair to "prove that this announcement is serious".

About 117 Ireland-based pilots had threatened to walk out on Wednesday delivering flight chaos and scuppering passengers' plans for the festive season.

The carrier admitted it had "messed up" the planning of its pilots' holidays.