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The crunch issues at centre of row

THE new rosters at Aer Lingus are more in line with standards at non-unionised budget airlines.

At Ryanair, for instance, the cabin crew work up to 900 hours flying time a year.

The row at Aer Lingus centres on contentious new rosters brought in by management to achieve 850 hours annual flying time under the €97m cost-cutting 'Greenfield plan'.

Cabin crew have signed up to the increase in flying hours, but have not agreed to a range of changes made to the rosters to achieve this.

The airline claims the changes are in keeping with international practice on other airlines.

Among the most disputed elements of the new rosters are:

  • Double shifts: cabin crew object to a requirement that they work double shifts -- out and back from a destination twice in one day.
  • Three-hour duty change: staff also argue that a measure that allows their duties to be changed by three hours on the day of duty, in the event of unforeseen circumstances, is "anti-family".

The previous provision was for up to two hours' delay.

  • Meal breaks: IMPACT claims cabin crew cannot take meal breaks on European flights.

But the airline says it provides meals for the cabin crew so they can take staggered breaks in the air.

In a previous arbitration on the dispute, chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission Kieran Mulvey said senior members of the cabin crew could allocate meal breaks that suited the flight schedule.

Irish Independent