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Aer Lingus to cut wages by 50% as airline reduces working hours for month of April

Fórsa said it was assured by Aer Lingus that these are emergency, temporary measures.

Image: Shutterstock/Jonathan Stephen

AER LINGUS HAS told staff it will be reducing working hours and staff wages by 50% next month due to travel restrictions and reduced demand amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

The airline told trade unions today that it will be operating just 20-25% of the usual number of flights in the coming weeks, with the effect that staff earnings will be reduced. 

Ryanair, which has announced “most if not all” of its flights from 24 March will be cancelled, said it is looking at a similar move, along with voluntary departures and temporarily suspending work contracts.

Aer Lingus said the reduction in earnings will be implemented equally across the company, with all grades – including senior management – experiencing a 50% cut.

“Because the cut is due to short-time working, staff may qualify for social welfare payments,” a spokesperson for Fórsa Trade Union said. 

Fórsa said it was assured by Aer Lingus that these are emergency, temporary measures and that normal pay and conditions will be restored once the situation has normalised.

Fórsa official Ashley Connolly said: “This is obviously devastating news for cabin crew and other Aer Lingus staff struggling to pay rent and mortgages. We will be advising them about their rights to social welfare payments and other protections.

The union has been in intensive talks with Aer Lingus management over the last few days with the aim of minimising the impact of this crisis on jobs and incomes. Given the impact of the public health crisis on the airline industry, we’re relieved that we have been able to keep everyone in a job.

Fórsa said it remains in discussions with other airlines including Stobart and Ryanair, as well as the agencies that provide cabin crew to Ryanair.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus told TheJournal.ie that the airline will continue to communicate with staff during this period. 

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