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Ryanair backs mediator's pay plan for Irish pilots

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS plane EI-EKG approaches Riga International Airport in Riga

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair <RYA.I> plans to implement a new pay structure for its Irish pilots based on the recommendations of an independent mediator, the Irish airline said on Wednesday, in an effort to end one of its most intractable labour disputes.

The Forsa trade union, which represents Irish pilots, was not immediately available to comment on the announcement.

Ryanair has suffered several waves of industrial action in the past two years by pilots and cabin crew over terms and conditions, but the situation has eased in recent months after management agreed terms with several national unions.

The Irish pilots union, which represents less than 10% of the airline's 5,500 pilots, is one of the most active and agreement in Ryanair's home market would mark a significant breakthrough in attempts to normalise industrial relations.

"Ryanair today (Jan 29) confirmed that it had accepted before Christmas the recommendations of independent mediator Mr Kieran Mulvey on a 4 Year Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) with the pilot union Forsa, to cover all Ryanair's directly employed pilots in Ireland to 2024," the airline said in a statement.

"Ryanair will now implement the terms of this CLA, which will deliver a new pay structure along with a fixed 5/4 roster for the next four years," it said, referring to the airline's traditional pilot schedule of five days' work followed by four days off.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Potter)