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Ryanair's O'Leary warns unions ahead of first-ever talks

Ryanair's O'Leary warns unions ahead of first-ever talks

"Recognising unions will be a significant change for Ryanair, but we have delivered radical change before", Michael O'Leary said.

"We crossed a rubicon last Friday and now we have to deal with this and we want to deal with it quickly".

It forced the budget airline to recognise a pilots' union and brought about talks with IMPACT union scheduled for later today.

The meeting took place at Carton House in Kildare.

"We think this is disappointing given all that's been said in the media over the last five days by the company".

Ryanair has also offered to meet the Portuguese union on Thursday and the British and Italian organisations in early January.

IMPACT has said it will make no further comment until after its meeting with management.

The union said a recognition agreement had to be agreed by midday on Thursday and warned its mandate for strike action could still be implemented "in the absence of a timely agreement".

Earlier this year, he argued that pilots' unions are a "busted flush" who "preside over the death of numerous flag carrier airlines".

No company has fought harder to keep unions out, including taking key cases that have both challenged and shaped the law on collective bargaining in Ireland.

However, in the wake of the announcement of 20,000 flight cancellations last September, pilots mobilised.

'If the best way to achieve this is to talk to our pilots through a recognised union process, then we are prepared to do so, and we have written today to these unions inviting them to talks to recognise them and calling on them to cancel the threatened industrial action planned for Christmas week'.

Pilots threatened to walk out tomorrow, Wednesday, for 24 hours, which would result in Christmas travel chaos.

IMPACT Trade Union has reiterated a threat of strike action by the Irish-based Ryanair pilots the union represents following a meeting with the airline on Tuesday evening.

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