December 17, 2017 / 11:03 AM / a year ago

Ryanair offers to meet Irish pilots ahead of strike date

DUBLIN, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Ryanair has proposed talks with an Irish pilot union before a possible Wednesday strike in a bid to remove the last threat to its Christmas schedule after its surprise offer to recognise unions for the first time.

Two other trade unions - Italy’s ANPAC and Portugal’s SPAC - withdrew plans for Christmas strikes after Friday’s announcement but Ireland’s IMPACT trade union is looking for further reassurances before cancelling its walkout.

IMPACT said on Saturday a meeting on Wednesday would come too late to prevent the 24-hour strike planned for the same day. On Saturday evening Ryanair offered to meet on Tuesday instead.

“Ryanair has offered to meet IMPACT/IALPA and their Ryanair pilot committee on Tuesday if that would suit them better,” Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew said in a statement posted on his Instagram account.

A spokesman for IMPACT said it was ready to meet Ryanair at any time. “Once we meet, we can take a decision on deferring industrial action,” he said.

Bellew said the German union VC had agreed to meet Ryanair on Wednesday to discuss union recognition.

He said Ryanair had offered to meet Portuguese union SPAC on Dec. 21 and that British union BALPA and Italian union ANPAC had agreed to meet with Ryanair in early January. “Let’s keep talking. Get people home quietly for Christmas,” he said. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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