Friday 19 January 2018

Aer Lingus has 'secret job cuts' plan - Dail is told

Fianna Fail allege confidential report exists

Aer Lingus Aircraft At Dublin Airport
Aer Lingus Aircraft At Dublin Airport
John Downing

John Downing

JOB guarantees for Aer Lingus workers clash with an internal company report suggesting huge job cuts, the Dail heard today.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said he had knowledge of an internal company report which suggested 20pc cuts in ground handling jobs; 40pc for catering; and 25pc on maintenance.

Read more:  Fianna Fail seeks to suspend Dail debate and vote on sale of the State’s share in Aer Lingus

The Fianna Fail leader also accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of trying to “ram through” the sale of the 25pc share in Aer Lingus as approved by Government yesterday.

“The Dáil has been treated in an appalling manner,” Mr Martin told the Taoiseach.

Read more here: Aer Lingus Takeover: What does it mean for Cork and Shannon? 

Mr Martin described the internal Aer Lingus document on job cuts as the “Nyaris report.”

The Taoiseach hit back saying the Fianna Fail-led government in 2006 sold the lion’s share of Aer Lingus without any thought for what would happen to Heathrow Airport slots or connectivity for Shannon, Cork or Dublin Airports.

Read more here: Tanaiste Joan Burton denies government tried to 'ram' Aer Lingus deal through Dail 

Mr Kenny said the deal on the sale of the 25.1pc share had secured these and the move was endorsed by all three airport managements while Knock would have improved traffic via London Gatwick.

“I reject Deputy Martin’s assertion of treating the Dail with contempt,” the Taoiseach said. He said the Government yesterday made its decision and immediately published details.

Mr Kenny said all deputies would be able to voice their views on the Aer Lingus sale over the next two days. He said he knew nothing about the report which allegedly plans big job cuts.

“I haven’t seen it, or read it, or had any access to it,” Mr Kenny told the Dail. He added that neither did Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe, know of the report.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said the promises on Aer Lingus jobs should be viewed the same way as promises made by the Government parties during the February 2011 general election campaign. He said the Taoiseach had effectively admitted by-passing the Dail in this process.

Independent Dublin North TD, Clare Daly, a former Dublin Airport union representative, said the Aer Lingus job guarantees were not to be trusted. She said workers’ and citizens’ interests were ignored in the sale. 

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