BERLIN (Reuters) - German pilots at Ryanair <RYA.I> are to go on strike for four hours on Friday, their Vereinigung Cockpit union said, following what the union described as an unsatisfactory meeting with management at the Irish low-cost carrier.
The first strike by pilots to hit the airline comes less than a week since Ryanair said that it would recognize unions in a bid to avert coordinated strikes across Europe over the Christmas period and entered into talks with unions.
The walkout in Germany, described as a "warning strike", will take place from 0401 GMT to 0759 GMT and will affect flights from all German airports, VC said in a statement.
Around 16 Ryanair flights are due to depart from Germany in that time.
Despite Ryanair's offer to talk with unions, VC said Ryanair had refused to accept two members of a delegation that the union nominated to hold talks with management. One of the pilots was a contractor and one a direct employee, but Ryanair has ended both of their contracts, VC said.
The union said trade unions in Germany have the right to say who can undertake negotiations and that it would not be dictated to by Ryanair on this point.
"This has shown us that nothing has changed with Ryanair's management style or how it handles workers' rights," VC President Ilja Schulz told reporters, sitting behind a table bearing the slogan "No landing clearance for Irish social dumping".
Ryanair has also offered to hold talks on Jan. 5 but Schulz said those talks were subject to the same conditions and so the strike would go ahead.
"Ryanair obviously doesn't believe that VC is in a position to organize a strike or that the Ryanair pilots in Germany have had enough with how they are treated," he said.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Tom Sims, Greg Mahlich)