Ryanair pilots suspend pre-Christmas strike

Ryanair pilots have agreed to suspend their pre-Christmas strike, union bosses have revealed.

Impact, which represents Irish-based pilots for the airline, said it will meet the Ryanair’s management on Tuesday evening for crunch talks, ahead of the planned strike this Wednesday, December 20.

An estimated 117 directly-employed Ryanair pilots are involved in the battle with their employers – which make up the majority of the company’s captains in Ireland, meaning any strike would be likely to severely impact planned flights.

Impact said they want to win independent representation for pilots in Ryanair.

In a statement, Impact said: ‘Impact has this evening suspended a planned one-day strike of Ryanair pilots next Wednesday after company management agreed to recognise the union as the representative of Irish-based pilots.

Impact, which represents the Irish-based pilots, said it will meet Ryanair’s management on Tuesday evening for crunch talks

‘The union has agreed to meet management on Tuesday evening, but says it is available to meet sooner.

‘The union asked management to release its Ryanair pilot representatives to prepare for and attend the meeting.

‘The union acknowledged the principled determination of Ryanair pilots, which it said had made this breakthrough possible, and said it looked forward to establishing a positive relationship with Ryanair company management.

‘Impact added that it hoped the suspension of industrial action would remove any uncertainty for passengers intending to travel on Wednesday.’

The union said it would not make any further comment until after the meeting with Ryanair on Tuesday. 

The low-cost airline firm said it would recognise unions for the first time after facing challenges from workers in Germany, Portugal, Britain and Italy.

Peter Bellew, the firm’s chief operations officer, said: ‘Let’s keep talking. Get people home quietly for Christmas.

‘Union meetings planned next week and January.’ 

It is the first time in the company’s 32 year history that airline boss Michael O’Leary has extended such an invite to union chiefs. 

The suspension of the strike has saved the blushes of the company for now after thousands of flights were cancelled in October when the firm ‘messed up’ planning pilots’ holidays. 

Mr O’Leary said he would offer them better pay and conditions following the incident.

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