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Sunday 31 August 2014

Aer Lingus to hire 20 extra cabin crew and restore privileges in Labour Court deal

Brian Byrne

Published 13/06/2014 | 02:30

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Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus will hire 20 new cabin crew members and restore low-cost travel privileges to staff after it accepted a recommendation from the Labour Court.

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The airline will also continue to engage in discussions with IMPACT trade union, while both sides will set up a technical group which will work together to bring in a fixed 'five days on, three days off' roster for short-haul flights.

Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy outlined in yesterday's recommendations that the arrangement should deliver a high level of productivity without affecting the airline's cost base as per its previous Greenfield cost-reduction agreement.

Cabin crew working on the airline's San Francisco route are also to be granted a third day off post-duty as per the recommendations.

A spokesperson from Aer Lingus said: "Aer Lingus accepts the contents of the recommendation and will now proceed to establish the roster-issue technical group and will implement the other aspects of the recommendation."

IMPACT also announced its acceptance of the recommendation, stating: "The IMPACT Cabin Crew branch committee has accepted the interim Labour Court recommendation, which was issued this morning following yesterday's engagement at the Labour Court.

"The committee believes the Labour Court recommendation forms a good basis for the settlement of the issues in dispute and we will pursue this vigorously in detailed negotiations with Aer Lingus over the coming weeks."

Last month's one-day strike action over rosters affected almost 30,000 passengers and was estimated to have cost the airline up to €10m.

IMPACT warned of two further strikes next week but agreed to defer them pending a Labour Court recommendation.

Transport minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the recommendation.

"The Court has plotted a path forward for both sides based on a further process of engagement," he said.

Aer Lingus also claimed yesterday the threat of strike action by cabin crew members will cost the airline up to 20pc in profits this year.

It said the deferred threat had nevertheless caused "significant damage" to Aer Lingus' trading and forward bookings for the next "several months".

A spokesperson said: "Aer Lingus now expects that its 2014 operating profits (before net exceptional items) will be 10pc to 20pc lower than last year. The outcome will depend in part on the speed with which we can win back customer confidence."

Irish Independent

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