Ryanair pilots suspend planned one-day strike action

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Ryanair pilots in Portugal decided on Sunday to suspend their strike set for December 20 after the company agreed to recognise the unions and negotiate on Friday in a surprise decision, Portugal's Union of Civil Aviation Pilots (SPAC) said.

The British and Italian pilots' unions have agreed to meet in early January.

Impact has this evening suspended a planned one-day strike of Ryanair pilots next Wednesday after company management agreed to recognise the union as the representative of Irish-based pilots.

The IMPACT trade union responded that "an immediate meeting, between management and the union, is now necessary to clarify issues and make progress".

A spokesman added: "Once we meet, we can take a decision on deferring industrial action".

The union acknowledged the principled determination of Ryanair pilots, which it said had made this breakthrough possible, and said it looked forward to establishing a positive relationship with Ryanair company management.

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It is the first time Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has extended such an invitation to union leaders in the 32 years the company has been flying.

"Ryanair has also offered to meet Impact/IALPA, and their Ryanair pilot committee on Tuesday, December 19, if that would suit them better", read the statement.

Ryanair and the pilots union IALPA are locked in a standoff, just days ahead of Wednesday's planned strike.

Pilots in Germany had voted to take industrial action some time during the Christmas period.

'Recognising unions will be a significant change for Ryanair, but we have delivered radical change before'.

The carrier admitted it had "messed up" the planning of its pilots' holidays.

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