Ryanair strike may still go ahead unless management meet union before Wednesday

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Ryanair sent a letter to unions in Ireland, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal at 0800 GMT on Friday to offer talks to formalise recognition and asking for confirmation that industrial action would not proceed.

'Recognising unions will be a significant change for Ryanair, but we have delivered radical change before'.

Investors in Ryanair have questioned if Michael O'Leary's reign is coming to an end after he yesterday offered to recognise unions for the first time in the company's 32-year history.

Ryanair has stated that they will only be able to meet on the 20th, the same day as the planned strike and have remained firm, saying that they cannot meet before the 20th.

"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".

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

A Ryanair spokesman said "the sensible course of action" for both ANPAC and IALPA was to meet the airline on Wednesday, the day their strikes are due to take place, but to call off the threat of disruption before then.

Impact, the Irish pilots' union, said it had received Ryanair's letter on Friday morning.

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However, the airline had said that management would not be able to meet with IMPACT representatives until Wednesday.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the airline would reconsider its policy of refusing to recognise labour groups.

In a statement on Saturday afternoon, Ryanair said: "Ryanair today confirmed that the German pilot union and Impact/IALPA (The Irish Airline Pilots' Association) have agreed to Ryanair's offer of meetings to agree union recognition on Wednesday, December 20th".

"Given the seriousness of the situation I think it would be good if they could move their diaries around and find availability", he said.

IMPACT said that the planned strike would go ahead unless management arranged to meet with pilot's beforehand.

"We want an ongoing framework for dialogue to significantly improve terms and conditions for Ryanair cabin crew", Ms Blackshaw said. Ryanair warned it will not deal with pilots flying for other airlines.

The low-priced airline's refusal to recognise unions was at the heart of the model that transformed the small Irish regional airline into Europe's largest carrier by passenger numbers.

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