Aer Lingus Regional cabin crew set for Easter strike

Cabin crew staff servicing Aer Lingus Regional flights look set for strike action over Easter due to a dispute over pay and working conditions.

The employees are directly employed by Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service. Trade union Fórsa has claimed the airline has refused to recognise it and negotiate with it over staff pay and conditions.

Fórsa opened a ballot of its members within Stobart Air two weeks ago. More than 80% of members voted, with 100% favouring industrial action.

A minimum of seven days' notice must be given before strike action, which would take the issue up to the Easter break. Fórsa said it would take "considerable movement", on Stobart Air's part, to alter proceedings.

Fórsa said a recent pay proposal in the non-union company fell short of recent airline industry norms, and was rejected by cabin crew by a margin of more than two-to-one of those who voted.

"Management’s refusal to do business in the usual way has left its staff feeling they have no choice but to consider industrial action," said Fórsa official Ashley Connolly. "The ballot gives the union a legal mandate for industrial action if the company takes disciplinary action against any crew member because they have joined the union, or because they participate in an industrial dispute," she said.

Fórsa has more than 100 members in Stobart.

Stobart Air said it maintains "an engaged and collaborative relationship with all staff on a regular basis," adding that it remains "committed to dialogue and engagement."

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