Ryanair offers to recognise unions in bid to avert Xmas strikes

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

Ryanair pilots were planning strike action for Wednesday but it has been suspended.

Today Impact said it was ready to meet Ryanair at any time.

"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 has agreed to recognise pilots' unions in an attempt to avert Christmas strikes in a "significant change" from its long-standing position.

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.

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Ireland's Impact trade union and Portugal's SPAC announced the cancellation of 24-hour strikes due to take place on Wednesday after Ryanair agreed to recognise the unions as the representatives of pilots in the two countries.

Pilots in Germany have voted to take industrial action during the Christmas period and German union Vereinigung Cockpit said the onus was now on Ryanair to "prove that this announcement is serious".

The threat of a wave of strike action across Europe by Ryanair pilots prompted the airline to make one of the biggest U-turns in its history on Friday.

In Spain, there are no strikes planned for pilots, but ground staff unions have not ruled out action on December 30.

Speaking yesterday, CEO Michael O'Leary said the radical U-turn to recognise unions was a bid to avoid travel chaos for customers during Christmas week.