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More flights cancelled as cabin crew row escalates

MORE than 1,000 passengers have been hit after Aer Lingus cancelled 10 flights today in a bitter row with cabin crew.

The airline said 32 staff have been removed from the payroll for refusing to operate the new rosters, which were introduced on Monday.

As the dispute moved into its third day, flights between Dublin and Frankfurt, Malaga, Madrid, Amsterdam and London Heathrow were cancelled.

Aer Lingus denied the rosters are being imposed without agreement.

The company insisted it is entitled to introduce the rotas after cabin crew last year accepted a cost-cutting deal, known as Greenfield, in which they agreed to work 850 hours a year.

However, Impact said the changes have not been agreed in talks with management.

The trade union argued Aer Lingus was imposing changes on staff that breached the Greenfield agreement.

More than 50 other cabin crew members, who have also refused to operate the new rosters, were attending meetings with management today.

They faced the possibility of being removed from the payroll as well. Impact cabin crew members had been taking part in a work-to-rule for over three months but the action did not have any effect on flights until this week.

More than 500 passengers were affected by the dispute yesterday when three transatlantic flights were cancelled and another flight was delayed.

Passengers were rebooked on other services to and from Chicago and from New York to Dublin. It followed the cancellation of flights between Boston and Dublin on Monday, affecting 300 passengers.