German flight attendants union slams Ryanair refusal to talk

AP News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2017 10:55 AM
German flight attendants union slams Ryanair refusal to talk

BERLIN (AP) — A German union representing flight attendants criticized budget carrier Ryanair on Tuesday, saying the airline was refusing to meet with them to discuss pay and conditions.

The UFO union said it was reaching out to the European Cabin Crew Association to determine how to increase pressure on Ryanair.

The airline reversed its longstanding refusal to recognize pilots' unions last week, saying it had invited several for talks because it wished to "avoid any threat of disruption to its customers and its flights from pilot unions during Christmas week."

UFO chairman Alexander Behrens welcomed Ryanair's willingness to talk to pilots, but warned it could be an attempt to avert strikes in several European countries over the busy Christmas season.

Behrens claimed flight attendants' pay is only marginally above minimum wage and accused the airline of breaching employment law. The union called on Ryanair to talk to flight attendants' representatives too.

Following Behrens remarks, Ryanair issued a statement and said it was just "starting" negotiations with pilot unions and that it expected those talks would "lead on in the new year to meetings with other EU pilot unions and cabin crew unions as well."