Ireland-based LCC Ryanair has reached an agreement on the basics of a new collective labor agreement (CLA) with some of its Italian cabin crews.

The move slightly eases the industrial pressure on the airline, but it will not affect staff from several European nations who are planning to go on strike over salaries and conditions Sept. 28.

The airline said it met three Italian cabin crew unions—FIT CISL, ANPAC and ANPAV—in Rome Sept. 13 and the two sides had signed a set of agreed-upon principles. These will form the basis of a comprehensive CLA to cover Ryanair’s Italy-based cabin crew from Oct. 1, 2018.

Ryanair recognized FIT CISL in July and said at the time that—together with the other two unions with which it negotiated, ANPAC and ANPAV—it was in talks with unions representing 66% of its cabin crews.

Ryanair added that both sides are “now in the final stages of concluding final terms and conditions of a CLA.”  

However, two other unions that include cabin crew in their membership, FILT CIGL and UIL Trasporti, said earlier this week that Ryanair had written to their members threatening job losses and base closures if they went on strike.

If the Sept. 13 agreement is finalized, the CLA will run from Oct. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2021. Significantly, it will be governed by Italian law and the Italian courts.

One of the main complaints of Ryanair employees throughout Europe has been that their contracts are subject to the labor laws of Ireland, Ryanair’s home base, rather than the laws of their own countries. The proposed agreement will allow Italian cabin crew transition to local contracts over an agreed-upon period.

Ryanair said the new CLA will also deliver increased salaries under a new pay structure, which will see crews benefit from increased tax-free allowances, similar to those at other Italian airlines.

An Italian pension scheme will also be introduced as part of the overall package.

Welcoming the agreement, Ryanair’s chief people officer Eddie Wilson noted that it followed recent cabin crew agreements in Ireland with FORSA and in the UK with UNITE.

“We expect to sign this first CLA for our Italian cabin crew before the end of September, which will lead to significant pay improvements and other benefits for our Italian based cabin crew.”

Since abandoning its previous policy of not negotiating with unions, Ryanair has been heavily engaged in trying to conclude agreements with individual nations’ pilots and cabin crews, with mixed success. There have been several bouts of strikes as a result.

Alan Dron