Ryanair latest: Unions 'disappointed' airline did not formally agree to collective bargaining

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Ryanair has avoided pilot strikes over the holiday travel period after the airline offered to negotiate over recognition and unions called off industrial action.

Following a conclusion of talks between IMPACT and Ryanair airline management, the union expressed disappointment that they were not presented with a written collective agreement from management recognising the union.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said last Friday: "Christmas flights are very important to our customers and we wish to remove any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week".

The first-ever talks between unions and management at Ryanair will take place later.

In a statement issued in the aftermath of the meeting, IMPACT said that Ryanair "were unable to give the union a piece of paper to confirm" the fact that Ryanair recognised IMPACT/IALPA (Irish Air Line Pilots' Association) for collective bargaining purposes, something that Ryanair had acknowledged publicly in recent days.

He said Ryanair was honest about embracing the collective bargaining model, and would not be attending today's meeting if they were not.

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The union wants the company to clarify the detail of its decision on Friday to recognise unions for the first time in the company's history.

"We have meetings with the German unions tomorrow and Portuguese on Thursday, and we have meetings set up throughout January", he said.

Ryanair's announcement that it will also recognise cabin crew unions comes after renewed focus on its treatment of lower-paid staff.

Meanwhile, pilots in Italy and Portugal have also halted recently threatened walkouts amid the scheduled talks.

The news came ahead of Ryanair's meeting later in the day with Impact, the union representing Irish pilots.

Shares in the airline reversed some of its recent losses and were higher in Dublin trade today.