Hopes rise for a fresh Aer Lingus peace deal
AER Lingus passengers have been given hope that their travel plans will not be disrupted later this month.
Planned industrial action may now be averted following a joint initiative from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and employers' organisation Ibec.
Aer Lingus staff are scheduled to undertake a two-hour stoppage on November 19 as part of a dispute over pensions.
While the action has not been called off, the move by ICTU and Ibec has raised hopes of a resolution.
Talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) broke down two weeks ago.
In the latest twist, ICTU and Ibec issued a joint statement urging Aer Lingus staff to withdraw plans to down tools.
They called on the LRC to contact unions and management at the company.
The statement proposed a new talks process aimed at resolving outstanding issues.
Unions and management at Aer Lingus should "cooperate fully" with the procedure and "engage meaningfully with a view to finding a speedy resolution", it added.
"As a result, the group of unions should withdraw the notice of industrial action," said the ICTU/Ibec statement.
Aer Lingus confirmed it would participate in the proposed structure of re-engagement on a voluntary and non-binding basis.
If it considers the solution appropriate, it will put the matter to Aer Lingus shareholders for approval.
The trade union Impact, which represents Aer Lingus cabin crew, confirmed it was ready to attend further talks in the LRC and Labour Court.
Siptu convened an emergency meeting of its Aer Lingus pension committee.
Aer Lingus stressed that any new arrangements to improve workers' pension prospects would be offset by other cost-saving measures.