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Italian unions call for Ryanair strike on Saturday

© AFP/File | Ryanair suffered a turbulent end to 2017, forced to cancel 20,000 flights through to March 2018, mainly because of botched holiday scheduling for pilots

ROME (AFP) - 

Three Italian unions confirmed their call to Ryanair workers to stage a four-hour strike Saturday, due to their exclusion from contract negotiations with the Ireland-based budget airline.

The strike will take place from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (0900 to 1300 GMT), but the pilots' union ANPAC is not participating.

The three unions -- Cgil, Cisl and Uil have called for "serious negotiations" on wages, contracts and guarantees for "all categories of personnel" in Italy.

Ryanair, when contacted by AFP, refused to comment on "rumours and speculation."

Ryanair suffered a turbulent end to 2017, forced to cancel 20,000 flights through to March 2018, mainly because of botched holiday scheduling for pilots.

The fiasco triggered pilots' demands for better working conditions and representation, with some departing for other carriers.

The discontent also saw Ryanair hit by the first-ever strike action by pilots in its 32-year history, with German staff staging a short stoppage ahead of Christmas resulting in delays but no cancellations.

In December, Ryanair made moves to formally recognise unions, facing the threat of further strikes in Italy, Ireland and Portugal.

© 2018 AFP