Thursday 29 September 2016

Union wants plug to be pulled on €1.3bn Aer Lingus takeover

Published 22/05/2015 | 02:30

Impact national secretary Matt Staunton said that the CEOs of both Aer Lingus and IAG, which operates British Airways and Iberia, had refused to respond to a number of union requests
Impact national secretary Matt Staunton said that the CEOs of both Aer Lingus and IAG, which operates British Airways and Iberia, had refused to respond to a number of union requests

The Impact trade union has called on the Government to scrap plans to sell its stake in Aer Lingus to IAG amid claims that assurances offered by the aviation giant are "worthless".

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An emergency conference motion, calling on Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe to oppose the sale of the Government's stake in the airline, was passed by union delegates yesterday.

Impact national secretary Matt Staunton said that the CEOs of both Aer Lingus and IAG, which operates British Airways and Iberia, had refused to respond to a number of union requests. He said he had not been successful when asking for information and assurances on workers' pay and terms and conditions in the event of a successful takeover of Aer Lingus by the group.

Mr Staunton said: "In March this year, the union communicated a number of points in relation to the commitments that would be required in the event of a takeover, to both CEOs.

"We outlined these commitments without prejudice to the fact that it remains our view that we don't believe that the proposed takeover is a good idea for jobs, for Aer Lingus workers or for Ireland's connectivity and economic development," he said.

The news came just hours after Aer Lingus chief revenue officer Mike Rutter said he hoped a proposed takeover would happen as soon as possible.

Resolution

Mr Rutter said he was "very eager" to see a deal completed as soon as possible for the betterment of the airline.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said this week that he was relaxed about the potential €1.3bn deal. Mr Walsh said he was "in no hurry" to see a resolution to the bid.

However, despite backing Mr Walsh's comments, Mr Rutter said he hoped things were wrapped up a lot sooner.

"The board are 100pc behind the deal going ahead. Like Willie Walsh said, it will take whatever time it will take; I hope that it will come to an end relatively soon," he said.

He made his comments after he announced the airline's biggest winter schedule expansion in 10 years.

The 2015/16 schedule includes new daily flights to Liverpool's John Lennon Airport starting on October 23.

Mr Rutter said the airline would be using the new Liverpool service to promote transatlantic flights from the UK.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for UK citizens to experience US border clearance before arriving stateside," he said.

"This is a brilliant experience for travellers to the US that is only available through Ireland.

"This is all part of our new vision for the airline."

Mr Rutter said a new ad campaign had already been launched to promote the service.

Irish Independent

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