Doubts, worry and 'very, very sad feeling' for grounded Ruth
Published 26/01/2011 | 05:00
RUTH O'Sullivan's life is literally up in the air after the Aer Lingus flight attendant was suspended for refusing to work a new roster.
The 28-year-old Dublin woman, who joined the airline four years ago, claims she was taken off the airline's roster and payroll late last week when she refused to work a transatlantic shift at the last minute.
She now joins 200 Aer Lingus cabin crew belonging to the Impact trade union who have been removed from the payroll for refusing to work the airline's controversial new rosters.
Ms O'Sullivan claims she had already put in three days' work last week when she was asked by management on Thursday morning to fly to New York and back to Dublin.
The last-minute change meant she wouldn't get back home until Saturday, leaving her with just one day off.
"I said 'No' on the basis that would give me just Sunday off," she told the Irish Independent yesterday.
She offered to work shifts flying within Europe instead that would still allow her to return home for the weekend, but she was turned down.
"I was told I was in breach of my contract and I would have to attend a disciplinary meeting on Thursday. I was told that I was refusing to cooperate so I was off the roster," she said.
"I felt almost set up. They knew I was going to have to say no. Saturday and Sunday were my rostered days off. Why should a day be taken away from me at a minutes' notice?"
While she has not seriously contemplated the prospect of being sacked -- which the airline is threatening for staff who refuse to sign up to the new rosters -- the upheaval and uncertainty as a result of the growing dispute is starting to take a toll, she added.
"I have a mortgage to pay by myself. I leaves me with a lot to think about now. I've already applied to have my mortgage put on interest only. But it just leaves me with doubts and worries and a very, very sad feeling," she said.
"I'm only looking for respect."