Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke today called on the Irish government to intervene in the disgraceful treatment of workers by the management and parent company of Aer Lingus. Teachta O’Rourke’s comments come as Aer Lingus and the International Airlines Group seek major redundancies and significant pay cuts at the airline.
Speaking today, Teachta O’Rourke said;
“The treatment of workers by the management and parent company of Aer Lingus has been disgraceful.
“We are all well aware of the huge challenges now facing the airline industry, however it now appears IAG is using the coronavirus pandemic as cover to downgrade the pay and conditions of workers in Aer Lingus.
“The Irish government have been silent on this issue, with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, taking his traditional hand’s off, nothing to do with me, approach.
“Aer Lingus should never have been privatised, and the Fine Gael-Labour government sold workers out at the national flag carrier, when they sold the State’s remaining 25% stake in 2015.
“At that time, the then Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe TD gave assurances in relation to continued connectivity, more jobs at the company and said the existing rights of all Aer Lingus employees “will be safeguarded”.
“A House of Commons Transport Committee report published in recent days, 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.
“Workers at Aer Lingus have highlighted the substantial financial reserves of IAG, in addition to IAG’s plans for acquiring more airlines, Air Europa for example, at the same time as slashing pay and conditions of current staff and making hundreds of others redundant.
“IAG’s actions appear to be an attempt to take advantage of the pandemic to cut jobs and weaken the terms and conditions of the remaining employees.
“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 the pay and conditions of workers at the former State owned company.”