All workers must face harsh reality
While the public sector unions increase their campaign against last December's pay cuts, a similar showdown is unfolding at Aer Lingus, the formerly State-owned airline.
Aer Lingus's management has put a harsh restructuring plan on the table and has warned that unless it is approved by the workers, it will be left with no option but to pursue more than 1,000 redundancies.
It is not bluffing: Aer Lingus needs to cut its costs if it is to survive this recession, and it no longer has the safety net of the government to fall back on. For a brief moment on Friday it seemed that sanity had prevailed as news broke that an overwhelming majority of the airline's pilots had voted in favour of the restructuring -- even though the plan involves 10 per cent pay cuts for pilots and a 15 per cent cut in pilot numbers.