Ryanair regrets 'unnecessary' four hour German strike threat

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Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary had said the carrier wanted to remove "any worry or concern" that passengers' Christmas flights might be disrupted by pilot industrial action.

Vereinigung Cockpit said Thursday that pilots will walk out from 5 a.m.to 9 a.m. after the airline refused to meet with two of five representatives the labor group sent to talks.

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

"We advise all customers in Germany to turn up as normal tomorrow, as we plan to operate all scheduled flights, and we will be doing our utmost to minimise any disruptions to the Christmas travel plans of our German customers".

The union representing Ryanair pilots in Germany has announced that it is calling for the airline's German-based pilots to strike tomorrow - Friday, December 22 - from 5am to 9am (04.00 to 08:00 UTC) at all German airports.

Ingolf Schumacher, head of VC's industrial department, said: "Ryanair's public offer to conduct negotiations with VC can only be classified as a further publicity stunt".

"This has shown us that nothing has changed with Ryanair's management style or how it handles workers' rights", VC President Ilja Schulz told reporters, sitting behind a table bearing the slogan "No landing clearance for Irish social dumping".

"In the history of the VC, there has never been a case in which the collective bargaining autonomy has been trampled on by an employer as it is now the case with Ryanair".

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"We very recently received correspondence from Ryanair in response to the meeting we held on Tuesday evening", he said.

IMPACT subsequently released a statement on Thursday to confirm Ryanair's recognition of IMPACT as the representative of the airline's pilots for collective bargaining purposes, with immediate effect.

The danger of industrial action has "receded for the present".

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Ryanair, on the other hand, said only that it had written to the VC "on a number of outstanding issues arising from the meeting in Dublin yesterday" and that it had agreed to meet the VC again on January 5.

Ryanair has also offered to hold talks on January 5 but Schulz said those talks were subject to the same conditions and so the strike would go ahead.

Ryanair said it was happy to negotiate with German pilots and VC officials, but not with non-Ryanair pilots or one who is in litigation with the company.

"IMPACT will now immediately start work to make union recognition in Ryanair a practical reality by working with management to establish a formal collective bargaining agreement, and then by using this opportunity to win improved security, terms, and working conditions for the airline's pilots".

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