Cabinet to discuss sale of Aer Lingus

THE part privatisation of Aer Lingus will be discussed at Cabinet again today as the Government receives the semi-State company’s annual report.

However, a decision on the timing of the sale will be made at a later date.

Preparatory work for the sale has been done by UBS and AIB Capital Markets, but Government sanction is required for a formal sale.

Although a final decision had been expected by mid-February to prepare for a stock market flotation of the company in June, a senior Government source said the issue was not on today’s main Cabinet agenda.

However, given that the airline’s annual results will be brought to Cabinet, the matter is expected to be discussed nevertheless.

Meanwhile, SIPTU shop stewards are to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday. SIPTU officials are increasingly concerned that despite the looming privatisation, there is still no indication of how a 300 million pension deficit will be dealt with.

Unions are also seeking clarification on how work practices and employment numbers will be affected.

SIPTU’s national industrial secretary Michael Halpenny said Thursday’s meeting would involve a “full discussion with our shop stewards about the implications of any decision by the Government which affects our members terms and conditions of employment and exactly what measures we need to take in order to protect them”.

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