Sunday 18 February 2018

Labour Court: Last-ditch effort to stop more strikes at Aer Lingus

Further strike actions are looming
Further strike actions are looming

Anne-Marie Walsh and Brian Byrne

THE Labour Court will today make a last-ditch attempt to end a row that is set to cause two 24-hour strikes at Aer Lingus next week.

Two new work stoppages on Monday and Wednesday will cause traffic chaos for up to 80,000 customers. A dispute over cabin crew rosters has already caused disruption for 28,000 passengers at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports when staff mounted pickets at the June bank holiday weekend.

The Labour Court said it was acting in the public interest by stepping in to try to resolve the dispute, by inviting the parties to take part in an investigation into the row over rosters.

Following submissions by the airline and IMPACT, the court will issue a recommendation, which will be considered by both sides.

Cabin crew announced the work stoppages after talks with management on a 'five days on, three days off' roster broke down. They want fixed-pattern rosters because they say the current system is exhausting and "erratic".

IMPACT said it was issued with a 'take it or leave it' proposal, which meant members could not carry out their required number of flight hours per year.

Aer Lingus claimed the cabin crew were no longer interested in the 5:3 roster when they heard "lifestyle requests", granted over the years as part of the rosters, were being withdrawn.

Fianna Fail's spokesperson on Transport and Tourism Timmy Dooley welcomed the talks, but said the strikes must be called off. He urged Aer Lingus to restore travel privileges to cabin crew who took part in the strike, which were withdrawn last week.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has called on Aer Lingus staff to drop threats of further strike action. He warned that unless the strikes were called off soon, it would not be possible for passengers to rebook seats on different flights next week.

Irish Independent

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