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A stock image of an Aer Lingus plane. Alamy.
pay talks

Aer Lingus pilots vote for industrial action, no strike planned as of yet

Aer Lingus has said that the Irish Pilots’ Association is seeking an unsustainable increase in pay.

AER LINGUS PILOTS who are members of the Irish Pilots’ Association (IALPA) have voted for industrial action, as their push for a pay increase has turned to stalled negotiations with the company. 

Over 97% of 739 ballots returned were in favour of action, while just over 2% were against. 

There is no definitive strike action planned as of yet, however, and negotiations with the company are continuing into tonight. 

IALPA president Mark Tighe said the result of the ballot showed that Aer Lingus pilots are “determined to secure a fair and reasonable pay rise after years of inflation”. 

He added that pilots feel they aren’t getting a fair share of the large profits that Aer Lingus are making.

Pilots are seeking close to a 24% increase in pay, and last week they voted to reject a Labour Court recommendation that they should get a pay increase agreement worth 9.25% in the short term. 

Aer Lingus has accused the IALPA of demanding an increase of pay that is not sustainable. 

Noting the outcome of the ballot, Aer Lingus this evening said that any decision by the IALPA to serve notice of industrial action would be “entirely unnecessary and regrettable and would result in significant disruption to the airline’s customers and to other employees.” 

The airline said that direct discussions are ongoing, and that it is willing to ask the Workplace Relations Commission to step in to find “solutions”. 

Mark Tighe, speaking on the RTÉ Six One News this evening, said that 24% is the average pay increase over the last five years when you compare it to increases received by those in public services and other sectors. 

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