In a trading statement issued yesterday, the airline said Impact trade union had indicated it would issue “further notice of industrial action in due course”. A media report also said if the rostering issue was not resolved before the first strike takes place, Impact would consider a 48-hour stoppage some time in June.
However, Impact said it has made no decision on any further industrial action. A spokesman said it had told the airline in the letter about the May 30 strike that “notice of further strike action will be given to you at a later to date”.
Sources are effectively ruling out third-party intervention to stop the action, which is set to affect up to 28,000 passengers.
They say the parties are too far apart for an intermediary to find enough common ground in time. In yesterday’s trading statement, Aer Lingus management said the “unwarranted” 24-hour industrial on May 30, “deliberately timed to occur just before the seasonally important June bank holiday weekend in Ireland, has considerably damaged Aer Lingus’s forward booking profile”.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday said the Government was “very concerned” about the strike, which he said was the third strike threat this year so far.
Asked about the different interpretation of the rostering, he said: “I would like to see it resolved without a strike that is going to disrupt passengers, tourists and Irish citizens trying to get a hard-earned break away over the June bank holiday.”
He said the best way to find a resolution was for both parties to consent to arbitration at the Labour Relations Commission.
“I am calling on both Aer Lingus and the union to do that,” he said. In the event the action goes ahead, contingency plans put in place by Aer Lingus, including hiring in aircraft, mean that:
* All transatlantic flights to and from Ireland on May 29 are scheduled to operate as planned, though connecting onward flights may be affected;
* EI 108 (New York to Dublin) and EI 124 (Chicago to Dublin) on May 30 will operate as normal;
* All Aer Lingus flights to and from London Gatwick airport will run normally.
All other flights into and out of Cork, Dublin and Shannon Airports will not operate in the event of the proposed strike.