Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly has written to the chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment requesting that representatives from Aer Lingus be invited to appear before the committee to answer questions over their ongoing treatment of their workers.
Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said: “For weeks, my colleagues and I have been inundated with correspondence from Aer Lingus employees who are struggling to survive as their hours at work have been reduced. Many have had their hours cut and are receiving as little as 30% of their wages.
“We all understand the ongoing impact that Covid-19 has had on the aviation industry and workers’ hours across all airlines have been dramatically reduced. For many workers, this has meant they are now only working two or three days per week.
“These reductions, however, are not the source of their anger. Their frustration stems from the failure of Aer Lingus to sign forms to allow them to receive social protection from the state.
“Aer Lingus have consistently dragged their heels with workers, and have refused to sign the necessary forms so workers can access welfare payments for the days they are not working.
“This situation has been going on for weeks, months even, with the airline refusing to sign the dockets despite the pleas of workers.
“Myself and my colleagues, Teachtaí Claire Kerrane and Darren O’Rourke, have made several representations to the Minister for Social Protection and called for her to resolve the two matters:
- i) Local Intreo Offices not approving social welfare payments for Aer Lingus workers for the days they do not work;
- ii) Aer Lingus refusing to sign social welfare forms for their workers.
“To date there has been no movement on these matters – the airline continues to treat their workers abhorrently while the minister sits on her hands.
“Workers at Aer Lingus are having their rights ignored and trampled on by the airline, and there needs to be action.
“I have written to the chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Committee to request that Aer Lingus be invited to appear before the committee to answer questions about the ongoing treatment of their workers.
“In the meantime, the minister needs to ensure that Intreo offices accept social protection forms from Aer Lingus workers and process them whether they are signed or not, and issue backdated payments as far back as the workers claims go.”