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Aer Lingus cabin crew vote in favour of industrial action

The ballot by IMPACT includes strike action but the branch committee will now meet over the next few days to consider the appropriate course of action.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated 10.12pm

CABIN CREW AT Aer Lingus have voted in favour of industrial action today by a margin of 91 per cent.

Trade union IMPACT said today its ballot was “provoked by Aer Lingus management’s attitude and behaviour on a wide range of issues, including the breach of existing agreements with staff, which have made the working lives of Aer Lingus cabin crew increasingly difficult in recent years”.

Issues mentioned on the ballot paper included last minute changes to rosters and “excessive shifts” forced on cabin crew by management. It also refers to breaches of agreements previously made through negotiations, like the use of a Belfast crew in one instance on services out of Dublin.

The union said management is unwilling to address of resolve concerns on these issues through normal industrial relations channels.

The decision to ballot was made immediately prior to a recent decision by Aer Lingus management to outsource cabin crew on transatlantic flights, announcing the closure of the cabin crew base at Shannon Airport with the loss of 87 jobs.

IMPACT said the company has written to the union in recent days issuing  notice of collective voluntary redundancies for cabin crew at the Shannon base.

“This is the latest in a succession of ultimatums and unnecessary coercive actions by Aer Lingus management which are designed to bully its staff into submission,” it said.

The industrial action voted on today includes strike action, if necessary. The branch committee of the union will now meet over the next few days to consider the appropriate course of action and a spokesperson said much of this will depend on the response from management.

They said the relationship between staff and management has become “toxic” because of the company’s “withdrawal from the usual industrial relations process”.

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“If there’s no engagement from management, the likelihood of industrial action will grow,” they added.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus said: “We have not received notice of industrial action. No further comment to make at this point in time”.

First published 3.58pm

Related: Aer Lingus to close Shannon cabin crew base that employs 87>

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