Aer Lingus cabin crew to picket airports

Aer Lingus cabin crew will mount pickets at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports from 5am tomorrow as their 24-hour strike grinds almost all the airline’s services into and out of the country to a halt.

Aer Lingus cabin crew to picket airports

It has now emerged that talks aimed at averting further strike action over rosters are unlikely to occur before the start of next week, possibly Tuesday. It is not thought that Impact, which represents the cabin crew, will lodge notice of any further action before those talks occur.

With more than 200 of tomorrow’s scheduled flights cancelled by the end of last week and the majority of the 30,000 passengers who were due to fly either refunded or re-assigned to another day, tomorrow’s action will not see passenger panic at the country’s airports.

Nonetheless, Impact assistant general secretary Michael Landers said his members believed the stoppage could have been prevented if the company had listened to what cabin crew were saying about rosters.

Impact has claimed cabin crew are having to work up to 60 hours in a seven-day period, resulting in shift patterns of six working days and one rest day, followed by six more working days. They want a roster which is similar to pilots at the airline — five work days followed by three rest days.

For its part, airline management has claimed the average working week for cabin crew is 30 hours and “on no occasion” have crew had to work six days on, one day off and six days on again. It has warned the staff that more than 300 of their jobs would be lost if the rosters they are seeking were to be implemented.

Yesterday, members of the IALPA (pilots) branch of IMPACT voiced support for cabin crew staff. IALPA president Captain Evan Cullen said cabin crew had only asked for the same parameters in the proposed rostering system as the short haul (A320) pilots who have operated the system for the last three years “achieving all the productivity targets set by management”.

Meanwhile, the possibility of strike action at Iarnród Éireann has moved a step closer after a second driver union rejected a Labour Court recommendation on cutting €4.7m from its staff pay bill to aid the transport company’s ailing finances.

Members of the National Bus and Rail Union voted by three to one not to accept the court’s ruling. Siptu had opposed the plan, though other unions accepted the recommendation.

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