Wednesday 25 April 2018

Unions will influence party's stance on sale - Labour TDs

Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins
Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

THE prospect of the Labour Party changing its position on the potential takeover of Aer Lingus now rests heavily in the hands of the trade union movement.

Several Labour Party members admitted last night that the party is being strongly influenced by the stance of Siptu.

The country's largest trade union has warned of the dangers of selling the State's 25pc stake - but has not closed the door completely. Labour's opposition to the takeover by IAG has waned among several party members after the airline giant pledged a series of sweeteners on Friday.

Cork TD Michael McCarthy said he now believes the merits of the deal should be examined.

A Labour minister last night said "the door has opened a bit" after promises were made by IAG in relation to jobs and routes.

Siptu, which partly finances Labour, said it does not know if there is any possibility of the union supporting the sale.

Several Labour TDs and senators, including Joe Costello, Sean Kenny and Lorraine Higgins, all said Siptu's stance was vitally important to the party.

TDs Michael McNamara, Willie Penrose, John Lyons and Dominic Hannigan, as well as senator Mary Moran, said they are all still opposed to such a deal despite the assurances.

The issue will be debated at the Labour national conference in Killarney, Co Kerry, at weekend after an emergency motion was announced by a group of eight party members.

Irish Independent

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