FRESH from its debate with cabin crew over new rostering arrangements, Aer Lingus is now faced with a ballot for industrial action by its pilots over the same issue.
The pilots, members of the IMPACT trade union, are currently balloting in a bid to force the airline to operate more optimum “work-life balance” rosters over next summer’s busy period.
It is understood that while pilots agree with the productivity aims of the roster changes introduced as part of the airline’s €97 million “Greenfield” savings programme, they, like the cabin crew, are unhappy at the way the rosters are being operated.
According to Industrial Relations News, they believe the rotas can be achieved in a way that meets the work-life balance needs of members.
The matter is unlikely to escalate before next summer because the winter schedule is much less busy.
However, if the winter passes without grievances being addressed, it could mean industrial action will cause unrest for passengers next year.
This is yet another example of the “continuing issue of trust, mutual understandings, challenging of information, and a constant rebuttal of actual or intended operational procedures” between Aer Lingus management and staff that Labour Relations Commission chief Kieran Mulvey referred to in an arbitration recommendation over the cabin crew dispute last month.
On that dispute, management and union representatives are expected to go through the 9,300-word document on cabin crew working hours drawn up by Mr Mulvey, which seeks to bridge the gap between the parties. The sides had been at odds as to how cabin crew could achieve 850 block hours of flying time each year.
The recommendation from Mr Mulvey was binding on both sides, but there is a need for further discussions on how it will be implemented.
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