Late Attempt To Stop Aer Lingus Strike Proves Futile
Published on May 29 2014 8:00 AM in General Industry
Eleventh-hour efforts to prevent Aer Lingus's cabin crew taking industrial action have proved fruitless, as it is now certain that tomorrow's strike will come to pass. The airline and the trade union IMPACT have failed to negotiate a way through the impasse: the latter refused to engage in late negotiations to resolve the disagreement over rostering. Michael Landers, the IMPACT assistant general secretary, said that the offer on the part of Aer Lingus management to return to the negotiating table came far too late. They said also that they were working with IMPACT to set a date to recommence talks next week. Aer Lingus has cautioned that the introduction of new rosters wanted by cabin crew could force it to move its bases for its transatlantic fleet to America, which would result in the loss of more than 300 jobs in Ireland. The airline claimed that the employment of the "5:3:5:3" roster pattern being sought by cabin crew would "necessitate measures to address the increased costs" that would be generated: "These measures include the establishment of North American bases to service transatlantic flights. This would lead to the reduction of Irish-based crew numbers by over 300 and would limit Irish bases to short-haul flying only." The company has already hired planes to use tomorrow, and rebooked passengers in an effort to minimise disruption, but the majority of its flights have been cancelled. Cabin crew will picket airports in Dublin, Cork and Shannon.