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Thursday 28 August 2014

Travel disruption off as Aer Lingus agrees new roster

Anne-Marie Walsh

Published 12/06/2014 | 02:30

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Aer Lingus cabin crew during a 24 hour strike over rosters at Dublin Airport on the June Bank Holiday weekend - further planned strikes have now been called off. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Aer Lingus cabin crew during a 24 hour strike over rosters at Dublin Airport on the June Bank Holiday weekend - further planned strikes have now been called off. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The Labour Court is set to recommend that Aer Lingus cabin crew get the roster they want, as disruptive strike action at the airline was called off last night.

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Two strikes that would have caused travel chaos for up to 80,000 passengers next week have now been deferred following last-ditch talks.

In a recommendation to be issued this morning, the court is expected to say that a roster involving five days on and three days off should be implemented on a trial basis with a view to making it permanent.

Staff are also likely to get their cheap travel privileges restored following weeks of industrial unrest at the airline.

But passengers due to fly on Monday and Wednesday next can breathe a sigh of relief after a union for cabin crew suspended the industrial action.

IMPACT accepted a Labour Court request to halt the 24-hour strikes.

The Labour Court will issue details of its recommendations today but it is expected to agree with the cabin crew demand to work five days on and three off.

Kevin Duffy, the Labour Court chairman, is set to outline how the new roster should be set up on a trial basis with the parties to return to the court in three weeks if they cannot reach agreement.

Relations

He is also expected to comment on the dire state of relations between unions and management at Aer Lingus. Setting up internal industrial relations mechanisms will be recommended, with a view to limiting passenger disruption in future.

Aer Lingus will now start a process for a technical group to examine how to implement the so-called 5:3 roster, although nothing will immediately change for staff.

But rosters for crew working transatlantic flights could yet prove a major stumbling block to reaching a workable agreement.

Aer Lingus has said the five-three roster would be very difficult to implement on long-haul flights as shifts mainly last three days.

The Labour Court stepped in on Monday to try to resolve the dispute over rosters as it considered the "public interest implications".

Passengers had been in limbo as the airline waited to see if an 11th-hour intervention by the court would avert the work stoppages. They had not been offered refunds or the option of rebooking.

The dispute had already caused severe disruption for 28,000 passengers on the Friday of the June bank holiday weekend

 

Irish Independent

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