Aer Lingus cabin crew to vote again on cutbacks plan
Published 20/03/2010 | 05:00
AER Lingus cabin crew will vote for a second time on the airline's €97m survival plan in a bid to avert 230 compulsory redundancies.
Their union Impact agreed to re-ballot its 1,000 cabin crew members on the cost-cutting programme they previously rejected at last-ditch talks last night.
The majority of the troubled airline's staff including pilots and ground handling staff have backed the plan.
If cabin crew accept the plan Aer Lingus will implement €97m worth of cuts which will include more than 600 voluntary redundancies, pay cuts of up to 10pc, and a three-year pay freeze.
Following lengthy talks with the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) yesterday, Impact said its negotiating team had "deeper clarification on a number of areas" that would enable it to put the cost-saving proposals to a ballot.
It said it would consult members at a meeting on Monday "with a view to holding a ballot thereafter".
The union, which had recommended the plan to its members, asked the LRC to intervene to prevent 230 cabin crew being sacked in three weeks.
Air Lingus had threatened to impose 230 compulsory redundancies among the union's cabin crew members. This was the same number of redundancies that the airline wanted under the cost-cutting plan, but on a voluntary basis.
Aer Lingus planned to terminate the employment of all 1,000 cabin crew and rehire them on lower pay and conditions.
It would then make 230 compulsorily redundant, with just the minimum legal redundancy payment.
Aer Lingus also held talks with with LRC yesterday.
It insisted it would not enter new talks with the union to renegotiate its cost-cutting plan, known as Project Greenfield.
In a statement last night, it said it noted the IMPACT decision to re-ballot its members on the original cuts plan.
"The company now awaits the outcome of this re-ballot," it said.