Aer Lingus cabin crew plan a second strike over rosters
Published 27/05/2014 | 02:30
Cabin crew are set to announce a second strike of at least 24 hours at Aer Lingus in the wake of this week's work stoppage.
Impact has revealed it will step up industrial action following a one-day work stoppage on Friday, which will ground around 200 flights.
The union said another strike would be announced within a fortnight due to a rosters row.
"Further action in the form of a work stoppage will be announced soon," said assistant general secretary Michael Landers.
"A decision on the length of the action has not been taken, but it may be longer than 24 hours."
It is possible that the next strike may take place less than a week after it is announced, as the union said it had already given the legal requirement of a week's notice of industrial action.
Over 28,000 passengers will be affected by this week's strike ahead of the bank holiday weekend. Of these, 18,000 have received refunds or rebooked to fly on another day. It is estimated that the one-day strike will cost the airline around €10m.
Aer Lingus has stopped taking bookings because of the planned strike action, and would normally expect to carry around 40,000 passengers on the Friday of the June bank holiday weekend.
Cabin crew want the same 'five days on and three days off' roster as pilots but the airline claims this is "unworkable". It says that, unlike cockpit crew who work either on short- or long-haul routes, cabin crew work both.
As a result, it said it would have to apply a dual set of "completely inefficient" roster rules.
It claimed the cabin crew would get another 32 paid days off if it gave in to their demands, which would push up the price of flights and put jobs at risk.
IMPACT said the cabin crew would work the same hours but time off would be taken in a bigger block.
It said they had to work up to 60 hours in a seven-day period, resulting in shift patterns of six working days and one rest day followed by six more working days. The airline denies this, and an Aer Lingus spokesman said it has not received notice from Impact of any further industrial action.
Last night Ryanair annou- nced it had put on 1,500 more seats on Friday. These seats – priced from €79/£79 one-way – are available on routes between Dublin and London, as well as other UK cities. There are also seats available to 10 European cities including Biarritz, Malaga, Paris and Warsaw.
Ryanair said over 260,000 customers were booked to travel on each of the four days of the bank holiday weekend.