AN Aer Lingus air hostess who alleged she was wrongly removed from the payroll during strike action two years ago has lost a €38,000 damages claim for breach of contract.
Rachel Waters yesterday told Judge Matthew Deery in the Circuit Civil Court 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 had known she was on call duty but had not been informed she had been scheduled on a flight to Paris.
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, to ensure she knew 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.
Waters said she had brought a representative from her trade union, Impact, with her because she wanted to explain her case and ensure her record would be put straight. 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.
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 Aer Lingus would be able to operate during the strike.
He denied there had been bullying or harassment and said he had adjourned the meeting because Ms Waters had become upset. He had given her time to read and sign the agreement. As she had not done so he had removed her for two weeks from the payroll.
Judge Deery dismissed Ms Waters' claim and will rule on costs next month.