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Air hostess loses €38k action over 'no-show'

An Aer Lingus air hostess who alleged she was wrongly removed from the payroll during a strike action in the company two years ago has lost a €38,000 damages claim in the Circuit Civil Court for breach of contract.

Yesterday, Rachel Waters told Judge Matthew Deery that in January 2011, "no-show" and "failure to join" entries had been recorded on her weekly roster.

She told Aer Lingus barrister, Rosemary Mallon, that she had not taken part in the strike and that she had known she was on call duty but had not been informed she had been scheduled on a flight to Paris.

Ms Waters said she had been working for Aer Lingus for 24 years and the airline's usual procedure was to send a car to her home at Melesian Grove, Kinsealy, Co Dublin, when she was rostered for work.

She denied the airline had tried to contact her and said she had later noticed the "no-show" records on her roster and had received a letter asking her to attend a meeting at Dublin Airport.

She said that during the meeting she had been "bullied, harassed and intimidated". She had not signed an agreement entered into between the airline and unions a year earlier about operating the roster. As a result, she had been taken off the payroll for two weeks.

Demands

Ruairi Costello, staff relations specialist at Aer Lingus at the time, said the meeting had not been a disciplinary one and its purpose was to ensure that Aer Lingus would be able to operate and satisfy customers demands during the strike.

He denied there had been bullying or harassment and said he had adjourned the meeting because Ms Waters had become upset.

Judge Deery dismissed Ms Waters's claim for damages. He said he would rule on the question of costs next month.

Irish Independent