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Ryanair has agreed to meet the trade union Fórsa at a neutral venue in an attempt to prevent a planned strike by pilots based in the Republic of Ireland. The pilots have voted to strike for 24 hours on Thursday.

Ryanair had indicated that any talks should take place at its headquarters in Airside in Swords. The trade union said they should take place at a neutral venue.

Irish national broadcaster RTÉ reports that Ryanair is understood to be working on a contingency plan, and is expected to notify passengers on Tuesday of any potential disruption to their flights.

The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) ballot of those directly employed by Ryanair resulted in overwhelming support – 99% – for action.

But Ryanair says this only represents 27% of its workforce in the Republic of Ireland. Pilots’ concerns relate to a dispute over seniority, as well as the procedures for allocation of base transfers, promotions and annual leave.

Ryanair gave pilots until 09:00 on Monday to respond to a circular offering them three options:

  • To confirm they are rostered to work on Thursday and will attend for duty as normal
  • To confirm that they are rostered for work on Thursday, but will not attend for duty as they intend to strike (if pilots rostered for duty on Thursday do not reply Ryanair will assume that they will be striking)
  • To confirm that while they are not rostered for work on Thursday, they wish to volunteer for duty to minimise customer disruption

RTÉ said it was unclear how many pilots have indicated that they will strike, or how many may volunteer to replace those taking industrial action.

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