Union: Airline can cut costs without outsourcing

Trade union Siptu tonight called on Aer Lingus to implement cost-cutting measures without outsourcing 1,300 jobs.

Trade union Siptu tonight called on Aer Lingus to implement cost-cutting measures without outsourcing 1,300 jobs.

As crunch talks over the airlines multi-million euro saving plan finished for the night, the trade union said it believed a process can be found to end the dispute.

The Government’s industrial relations trouble-shooter was forced to step into the deepening row after workers voted for industrial action over plans to outsource operation posts.

The National Implementation Body (NIB) heard arguments from the carrier, Siptu and Impact in an attempt to hammer out a deal that could avert misery for tens of thousands of travellers in the run up to Christmas.

After the meeting Gerry McCormack, Siptu’s national industrial secretary, said the union outlined its concerns.

“We told them we believe a process can be found that will provide a solution to the current dispute at Aer Lingus that achieves the efficiencies sought by the company without outsourcing,” said Mr McCormack.

“We now need to know if the management team at Aer Lingus is willing to engage with us in such a process.

“The NIB has told us it will reflect on what has been said by all of the parties and will contact us in due course.”

Aer Lingus, which wants to implement a €74m cost-cutting package, including taking €50m from staffing costs, did not comment on the talks.

Siptu served two weeks strike notice on the airline on Monday after 80% of staff voted in favour of industrial action.

The ballot was cast after the airline announced a number of cost-cutting measures including outsourcing ground operations, shutting cabin crew bases in Shannon and Heathrow, and using American crews on some transatlantic routes.

Last week Aer Lingus revealed it had set December 15 as the deadline for acceptance of a severance package and early retirement scheme on offer to staff.

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