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Aer Lingus CEO apologises to staff for 'hurt and upset' caused by newspaper article

Stephen Kavanagh met with staff and union representatives yesterday evening.

Image: Sasko Lavrov/RollingNews.ie

THE CEO OF Aer Lingus has apologised for the “hurt and upset” caused to airline staff following an article published in a Sunday newspaper.

Stephen Kavanagh issued the apology following an article published in the Sunday Independent with the headline: “Aer Lingus chief says staff stealing ‘many millions of euro’ from customers and colleagues”.

The article based its claim on a memo sent to airline staff which stated that “many millions of euro” was lost by the airline due to missing stock.

The article stated that the airline was rolling out CCTV cameras in Dublin Airport and hiring private security to carry out random patrols of staff areas. 

According to Fórsa – the union representing the workers – the article prompted outrage among workers and led to thousands of calls and emails to the union with complaints. 

Following this and a request from the Aer Lingus Group of Unions, members of the airline’s senior executive management team held a meeting with staff and union representatives yesterday evening.

Senior management apologised to the workers at the meeting. 

“The Aer Lingus CEO, Stephen Kavanagh and the Senior Executive Team expressed a sincere apology and regret for the hurt and upset caused by this misleading article. He confirmed that Aer Lingus had not been the source for the article,” Aer Lingus said in a statement. 

The CEO acknowledged that Aer Lingus workers had been subject to hurtful and demeaning comments over the course of the last week and they sincerely regretted the upset that had been caused.

Aer Lingus said that Kavanagh at the meeting “re-iterated his appreciation and respect for the continued professionalism of colleagues in the delivery of excellent service and their continued hard work and dedication”.

The company also committed to making a donation on behalf of staff of €25,000 to be split equally between Pieta House and Focus Ireland. 

In a statement, Fórsa said it welcomed the statement. 

Official Ashley Connolly said: 

We welcome and accept management’s apology on behalf of the Aer Lingus staff we represent, and we welcome the company’s decision to donate €25,000 to Focus Ireland and Pieta House – organisations whose work Fórsa respects and supports – on behalf of staff. 

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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