December 19, 2017 / 4:03 PM / a year ago

INTERVIEW-Ryanair says serious on union recognition, but threat to move planes remains

DUBLIN, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said on Tuesday he was serious about his decision to recognise trade unions, but the airline would retain the right to move planes to different countries if unions made unreasonable demands.

Ryanair shocked investors on Friday by recognising trade unions for the first time in 32-years to try to avoid its first-ever strike later that day.

“The unions want to know there isn’t some kind of curveball. There isn’t,” O’Leary told Reuters in an interview hours ahead of his airline’s first meeting with Ireland’s pilot union.

“But if someone is being unreasonable and we are being completely messed around by a union, we will still move aircraft away from that base or country,” he said. “That’s not the plan. The plan is to work with unions.” (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Potter)

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