December 20, 2017 / 2:42 PM / a year ago

German cabin crew union urges Ryanair to set date for talks

FILE PHOTO - Ryanair commercial passenger jet lands in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

BERLIN (Reuters) - A union representing German cabin crew has called on Ryanair (RYA.I) to suggest a date for talks after the Irish low cost carrier confirmed it was willing to recognize unions beyond those representing pilots.

In a surprise move, Ryanair last week said it would recognize unions to stave off threatened strikes by pilots in the Christmas period.

There was some confusion as to whether Ryanair would also recognize unions representing other workers but on Tuesday it confirmed it would also recognize cabin crew unions and would seek talks with them.

“As soon as Ryanair proposes a concrete and binding date in January, we will of course take them up on it,” UFO union board member Nicoley Baublies said in a statement on Wednesday.

Ryanair held a first meeting with the Irish pilot union Impact on Tuesday and was meeting German equivalent VC on Wednesday.

VC said in advance of the meeting that it was looking for reassurances that Ryanair was genuine in its promise to recognize unions and threatened action if it turned out to be a tactic to delay strikes beyond Christmas.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told Reuters in an interview that he saw union recognition as offering opportunities for expansion and to help keep staff costs down.

“This is not a ruse. This is serious,” he said.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Keith Weir

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