October 8, 2008

Aer Lingus Job Cut Proposal Could Drive Unions to Strike Action

Loss-making Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus's board has approved a cost reduction program which includes up to 1,500 job cuts aimed at delivering savings to ensure the airline's long-term viability, potentially infuriating its employee unions to seek strike action.

Irish trade union Siptu has stated that the airline's board has approved a E74 million cost-cutting plan to be implemented beginning December 1, 2008, to reduce around 1,500 ground staff and cabin crew at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports. The airline will outsource these jobs to third parties.

Aer Lingus will effect these job cuts through voluntary redundancy, early retirement and possible employment with the third parties the airline will outsource the jobs to.

Siptu has launched a member ballot to initiate full-fledged industrial action, while the Impact trade union has decided to hold off a strike ballot pending the airline's negotiations with the Irish Labor Relations Commission. Impact has made it clear that it is opposed to any outsourcing of jobs, even though it is ready to negotiate on cost-cutting measures.