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Ryanair's German pilots to strike on Friday before holiday

Ryanair's German pilots to strike on Friday before holiday

Ryanair pilots in Ireland represented by the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) and IMPACT will not take industrial action against the airline after confirmation of a "historic agreement" on Thursday afternoon.

Update 5.45pm: Ryanair sincerely regrets receiving notice of a threatened four-hour pilot strike in Germany tomorrow.

Ryanair has yet to comment on the VC action.

But the airline said that when it met with Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) in Germany this week, part of the union's Ryanair Pilots Council contingent included a former Ryanair contract pilot who is in a legal battle with the carrier.

According to the German pilots' union, Ryanair offers no continued payment of wages in the event of sickness, no guaranteed work schedule, no retirement planning and a widely used system of registering pilots as self-employed.

The strike comes less than a week after Ryanair shocked investors by saying it would recognise unions for the first time in its 32-year history in a bid to avert coordinated strikes across Europe over the Christmas period.

Meanwhile, Trade Union IMPACT said it has received confirmation from Ryanair today that the airline now recognises IMPACT as the representative of the airline's pilots in Ireland for collective bargaining purposes, with immediate effect.

The airline and the union will meet on January 3 to agree a comprehensive recognition agreement.

Following the strike call, Ryanair said it wrote to German pilots asking them to work as normal, and that it intends to continue talks.

Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary, who softened a longstanding anti-union stance last week, is under pressure to follow through on promises to recognize unions for pilots and flight attendants as he seeks to head off labor strife.

The airline said it had tabled proposals on pay and conditions, procedures and dispute resolution for Irish-based pilots, and "looks forward to concluding an early agreement on these issues with its Irish Ryanair pilot company council".

Ryanair has written to IMPACT, setting out its plans to recognise the pilots'union.

Unions, however, were disappointed that Ryanair did not provide assurance at talks on Tuesday.

"It's just a short strike and we don't want to burden passengers too much ahead of Christmas", the VC's Schulz said.

And the union added that the danger of strikes by Irish pilots had now receded for the time being.

IMPACT has asked for a document confirming Ryanair's commitment to union recognition by midday, which it is expecting it will get before the deadline.

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