December 22, 2020
A Christmas appeal to government on behalf of Aer Lingus workers – Louise O’Reilly TD

Louise OR' ReillySinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has written to all the members of the cabinet with an appeal on behalf of Aer Lingus workers that the Department of Social Protection issue social welfare payments to them before Christmas Day.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The Covid-19 crisis has had a dramatic impact on the aviation sector. Many workers have had their hours and wages cut severely.

“These workers have understood the impact of the crisis, and they have stood bravely in the face of everything that has been thrown at them.

“But for many months now, Aer Lingus workers have been given the runaround by their employers who refuse to fill out social protection forms for them – all the while the Department of Social Protection has stood idly by.

“These workers are entitled to short-time work support for the days they have not been working, but Aer Lingus have either refused to fill out the necessary forms for them, or when they have filled them out, they have done so incorrectly.

“The result being that the workers cannot access their social welfare entitlements.

“Both I, and my Sinn Féin colleagues, have spent countless hours in the Dáil, Seanad, Oireachtas committees, and on the ground locally trying to get this situation resolved.

“But Aer Lingus just continue brazenly with their antics, and the government inaction allows this to happen.

“Last week I called on the Tánaiste to intervene and sort out this matter before Christmas. He responded positively to my request and expressed his dissatisfaction at the conduct of Aer Lingus. But there has been no movement.

“This morning I wrote to every member of the cabinet with an appeal on behalf of Aer Lingus workers, and asked that they instruct the Department of Social Protection to release these payments to Aer Lingus workers before Christmas Day.

“This has been a horrid year for these workers and all they seek is what they are entitled to. I would hope that the government can see that these payments can be released to the workers, and their families, before Christmas.”

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