Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly said the government must ensure Aer Lingus workers get their social welfare payments immediately.
Speaking this afternoon, 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.
“However, for many months now Aer Lingus workers have been pushed from pillar to post by Aer Lingus and by the Department of Social Protection.
“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.
“The Department of Social Protection and local Intreo Offices have been of little help, with many refusing to release payments even when correct forms have been submitted.
“Both I, and my Sinn Féin colleagues, have expended countless hours in the Dáil, Seanad, Oireachats Committees, and on the ground locally trying to get this situation resolved. But Aer Lingus just continue with their antics, and the Government stand by and allow this to happen.
“These workers are entitled to short-time work support and if Aer Lingus are not going to issue to correct forms, then the local Intro Offices should release the payments to these workers regardless.
“Yesterday in the Dáil I called on the Tánaiste to intervene and sort out this matter before Christmas.
“I hope that his positive response to me is an indication that the Government will resolve this situation as a matter of urgency.
“These workers are only seeking what they are entitled to, and it should be granted to them immediately.”