The CEO of Aer Lingus has issued an apology to the airline's staff over reports that workers had stolen or damaged millions of euro worth of passenger, staff and company goods.
The Sunday Independent had reported that increased surveillance is being carried out on Aer Lingus staff after allegations that millions of euro worth of goods had been damaged or stolen from passengers and airline employees.
The article quoted Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mark Rutter who it said had, in a memorandum sent to staff, blamed "a small percentage" of workers for the increased surveillance, and said millions of euro worth of stock had been stolen or damaged, including items from passengers and other staff members.
CEO Stephen Kavanagh today apologised for the hurt and upset caused by the article acknowledging the workers "had been subject to hurtful and demeaning comments over the course of the last week".
Mr Kavanagh said Aer Lingus was not the source for the article, which he claimed was misleading, and added the airline was committed to maintaining the highest workplace standards.
It was also announced that the airline would make a donation on behalf of staff of €25,000 to be split equally between their chosen charities, Pieta House and Focus Ireland.
Trade union Fórsa welcomed the apology to staff which it and other Aer Lingus staff representatives had demanded "on foot of thousands of calls and emails from outraged workers following publication of the article".
Fórsa official Ashley Connolly said that the staff wanted to move on from the damaging episode.
“We welcome and accept management’s apology on behalf of the Aer Lingus staff we represent, and we welcome the company’s decision to donate €25,000 to Focus Ireland and Pieta House – organisations whose work Fórsa respects and supports – on behalf of staff,” she said.