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Sunday 18 February 2018

Aer Lingus staff plan strike over selling of sandwiches

The action is currently at a very early stage.
The action is currently at a very early stage.

Chai Brady

Aer Lingus has assured customers that threatened industrial action from cabin crew over sandwiches and other food won't affect services.

Staff took issue with the airline introducing additional snack services which forces them to sell extra sandwiches, ice cream, tea and coffee on transatlantic flights.

Now 1,000 cabin crew represented by trade union Impact are set to be balloted.

However, staff will not have to work longer hours and will get the same length of time for breaks.

The action is currently at a very early stage.

"It's a matter that's being considered," an Impact spokesperson said.

"At the moment this would be very much something we haven't decided on yet.

"So it would be a bit premature to comment on it at this stage."

He said that it was "a lot more complicated" than just serving tea and coffee.

Customers on the airline's transatlantic flights will still receive a hot meal under the proposals.

An internal trade union notice from Impact to Aer Lingus cabin crew, seen by the 'Sunday Business Post', asks staff not to co-operate with the new service.

"The company have been informed that the ice cream/bia with free tea and coffee/hot snack, sandwich service due to start tomorrow is in contravention to our service agreement," it said.

"Once we have a mandate for action we will direct members NOT to co-operate with the new service.

"In the meantime, ensure you take your FULL break time.

"We are proceeding legally by having a ballot."

A source said it was not believed to be as serious as the 24-hour stoppage staged in 2014 over rosters, which caused 200 flights to be cancelled.

About 30,000 customers were affected during that industrial action.

"We don't anticipate any disruption to our schedule," an Aer Lingus spokesperson said.

Impact also encouraged staff to take their fatigue survey.

They found that almost half of cabin crew went into work when they should have stayed at home due to sickness and a third took medication to sleep.

Irish Independent

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