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1,000 passengers not told as Aer Lingus strike starts

Angry passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted by cabin crew action trundled through Dublin Airport today.

Up to 1,000 Aer Lingus passengers had not been contacted as the industrial action began and about 27,000 others have received refunds or been rebooked for another day.

Stoppage

Cabin crew mounted pickets on Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports for a 24-hour stoppage in a row over rosters.

Ian Baker and Terry Kenny from Donaghmede, in Dublin, were scheduled to depart for Amsterdam today, but were told they had to pick another departure day.

“We had to pay for another night of accommodation. In a kind of way it actually worked out in our favour because we get an extra day overseas.

“But the timing isn’t great. I’m sure it’s disrupted the plans of an awful lot of people,’’ said Ian.

Business groups and politicians have condemned the stoppage which will ground most flights today and is expected to cost the airline up to €10m.

A second follow-up strike is likely to be held off for the moment after an 11th-hour invitation to trade union Impact to talks with Aer Lingus next week.

The airline made the offer in a bid to resolve the long-running dispute where cabin crew want a fixed-pattern five day on, three day off’ roster.

LOSSES

This pattern is currently enjoyed by pilots and the cabin crew say it would be easy to introduce.

The airline, however, says the roster would be “unworkable” and would mean 300 job losses.

Aer Lingus claims it would have to divide cabin crew into short-haul and long-haul groups if it conceded to the 
union’s demands and said applying aviation regulations would mean it would not 
have enough staff to man flights.

The airline said this is because long-haul staff could not be asked to work on short-haul flights during rest times.

In a letter Impact accused the airline of taking an “our way or the highway” approach.

Talks between Aer Lingus and Impact are expected to begin on Tuesday.

csheehy@herald.ie


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