Sinn Féin TD Darren O’Rourke has called on the government to intervene in the escalating crisis at Aer Lingus. His comments come as Aer Lingus has announced this evening that they are seeking 500 redundancies at the airline.
Speaking this evening, Teachta O’Rourke said;
“This is very concerning news coming from Aer Lingus this evening that will only add to the stress and anxiety of workers at the airline.
“The pandemic has obviously had a major impact on the airline industry, but the government here have taken a complete hands-off approach to dealing with it.
“We have raised the escalating situation at the airline repeatedly with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, however it seems that Minister has checked out of his brief already. He has done nothing to address the escalating crisis in the sector.
“The Fine Gael/Labour government should never have sold off the State’s remaining shares in Aer Lingus in 2015, and unfortunately the consequences of this are now coming to the fore.
“This week a report from the House of Commons Transport Committee called IAG’s treatment of workers at British Airways a ‘national disgrace’. The very same can be said for IAG’s treatment of workers at Aer Lingus here.
“IAG reported operating profits of €3.2 billion in 2019 alone and have substantial financial reserves. The coronavirus pandemic cannot be used as a cover to slash the pay and conditions of workers at Aer Lingus.
“The Irish government have given Aer Lingus substantial financial assistance through the Wage Subsidy Scheme and also with contracts to deliver PPE from China. The government here also continues to hold a share interest in Aer Lingus relating to landing slots.
“The government need to intervene in this situation and use their influence to protect workers, their jobs and their pay and conditions.”