January 3, 2021
Sinn Féin welcomes review of Aer Lingus staff welfare support claims – Louise O’Reilly TD, Claire Kerrane TD and Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, and spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, have welcomed the announcement that a review will now be conducted regarding welfare support claims by Aer Lingus staff.

Teachta O’Reilly said: 

“I welcome that this review will now take place. I, and my Sinn Féin colleagues, have spent countless hours in the Dáil, Seanad, Oireachats Committees, and on the ground locally trying to get this situation resolved and ensure workers get the supports they are entitled to.  

“For far too long, Aer Lingus workers have been pushed from pillar to post by the company and the Department for Social Protection.  

“The Government stood idly by for too long instead of stepping in to help workers at the beginning. However, I welcome that they have acted now and I hope that they are finally accepting the gravity and urgency of this issue. 

“The Aer Lingus workers have been entitled to short-term work support for days they have not worked during the Covid-19 crisis, however Aer Lingus has refused to fill out the forms for them and in some occasions filled them out incorrectly. 

“As a result, workers have been unable to access the social welfare payments they are entitled to. This is an unacceptable way to treat workers and has placed many under huge financial pressure.  

“I welcome that this review is now taking place. It must be a rigorous process which resolves this serious issue and which is concluded in a timely way.” 

Teachta Kerrane said: 

“The pandemic has placed huge financial pressure on workers across the state. Many have seen their pay packets plummet, as their hours have been reduced unexpectedly and through no fault of their own. The Department of Social Protection has a duty to stand up for workers and ensure they receive the social welfare payments that they are entitled to. 

“I welcome that this review has been announced and will be following its progress closely.” 

Teachta O’Rourke said: 

“The aviation sector has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Airline staff have faced months of huge stress and uncertainty. The way that Aer Lingus staff have been treated is unacceptable.  

“I welcome this review as a valuable opportunity to ensure workers get the welfare supports they need and deserve. Its work must be concluded without unnecessary delays, so that this can be resolved urgently for the workers affected.”

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