The airline has agreed to recognise unions.

Cabin crew working for Ryanair (LON: RYA) will be represented by a union for the first time after signing an agreement with Unite.

The move has come following Ryanair’s decision to recognise unions following a shortage of pilots that caused the cancellations of many flights.

The airline previously had a long-standing policy of not recognising unions for its employees but was forced to reconsider following threats of industrial action. 

Over 650 of the group’s cabin crew will be represented by Unite, who will be able to negotiate on pay, hours and holidays. Not all employees will be represented, however, due to employment through agencies such as Crewlink.

Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, said the deal was a “historic agreement and a significant step by Ryanair.”

“For the first time ever, Ryanair’s UK cabin crew will have a recognised union in their corner to deal with workplace issues and collectively bargain on pay,” he added.

“I’d urge all UK-based Ryanair cabin crew to join Unite and be part of one the biggest trade unions in the world representing airline workers.”

“Unite looks forward to building a positive relationship with Ryanair that benefits passengers and workers alike,” he said.

Unite is a major union for cabin crew working for major airlines operating out of the UK, representing over 25,000 employees.

Last week, the airline signed its first union agreement for cabin crew with ANPAC and ANPAV, who will represent the group’s employees based in Italy.

“We are making good progress with unions in other major EU countries and we hope to sign more recognition deals with pilots and cabin crew unions over the coming weeks and months,” said Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson in a statement last week.

The Italian union said that the agreement with Ryanair was “historical for Italian pilots.”