AER LINGUS employees today insisted they would struggle to manage childcare for their families under the new rosters as their strike enters its turbulent 11th day.
Cabin crew fear the longer shifts that the airline wants to introduce will leave their children in a vulnerable position when it comes to childcare arrangements. Over 200 cabin crew have now been taken off the payroll for refusing to work the new arrangements.
It's now believed the dispute will intensify over the next few days, causing further flight cancellations.
The airline has begun disciplinary proceedings against staff members who have refused to work under the new arrangements, which could ultimately result in the termination of their employment.
Impact, the trade union representing cabin crew, says a "substantial" amount of these employees have families.
The new roster arrangements would see staff timetables increase by another 20 hours a year. The situation could arise where the employees are asked to go in at 10am but told they were not required to work until 1pm and they would finish three hours later in the day.
This would have a serious knock-on effect for families as staff would have to scramble for alternative childcare arrangements.
It's understood there are attempts being made to bring Aer Lingus and the union back to the table for talks.
Although the National Implementation Body (NIB), which was established to ensure delivery of the industrial relations stability, has been disbanded, there have been calls for a third- party intervention.
The airline wants to increase the time the cabin crew spend in the air from 830 hours to 850 hours annually as part of its Greenfield program -- the €97m survival plan.
Aer Lingus said staff on the new rosters would still only work an average of just under six hours a day, which includes time in the air and on the ground, with shifts ranging from two hours 20 minutes to 11 hours and 55 minutes.
Aer Lingus currently expects it will be forced to cancel up to 10pc of its flight schedule.