Thursday 21 September 2017

Revealed: Labour's 'Aer Lingus eight' see four concrete demands over sale

Joan Burton
Joan Burton

Niall O'Connor in Killarney

An internal faction of Labour Party TDs have put forward four concrete demands which must be met before they are willing to support the Aer Lingus deal.

An emergency motion put forward by the eight deputies, obtained by the Irish Independent, shifts some of the focus away from the Dublin region.

And it calls for “meaningful, reliable and long-term guarantees” around the issues of connectivity and the Heathrow slots.

The motion, if passed this weekend, would put serious pressure on Fine Gael not to support the sale of the State’s 25.1pc shareholding in Aer Lingus.

The motion itself is being put forward by TDs Joe Costello, Michael McNamara, Eamonn Maloney, Sean Kenny, Dominic Hannigan, Brendan Ryan, Robert Dowds and John Lyons.

The deputies call on the Government to reject the IAG bid unless it addresses the following:

• The serious concern that the present bid fails to reflect the true value of Aer Lingus and, therefore, an independent valuation of the assets of the company is  required, in particular, a valuation of the 23 Heathrow slots

• The need for a firm commitment in the form of a Registered Employment Agreement to protect Aer Lingus workers’ employment and conditions of employment

• Meaningful, reliable and long-term guarantees around connectivity and the Heathrow slots

• The need to articulate a comprehensive plan to promote Shannon and Cork  airports, taking into account their distinct business models and impact on their individual regions

The motion states that the Labour Party has always strived to “act in the best interests” of the company.

It notes Aer Lingus has “achieved in 2014 record high levels of revenue and passenger numbers, which are forecast to continue to grow solidly”.

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