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Industrial Action

Aer Lingus pilots confirm they will begin work-to-rule from Wednesday 26 June

Union for the pilots IALPA has issued seven days’ notice to Aer Lingus management informing them that pilots will begin industrial action at a minute past midnight.

AER LINGUS PILOTS will begin a work-to-rule action against their employer from 26 June, their union has confirmed.

The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) has issued seven days’ notice to Aer Lingus management informing them that pilots will begin industrial action at a minute past midnight. The work to rule will last indefinitely.

IALPA President Captain Mark Tighe said: “We are now at a point where this dispute has escalated to indefinite industrial action by pilots.

“We are in this position because management have failed to provide us with a meaningful offer on pay that accounts for inflation and the sacrifices made by pilots to save Aer Lingus during the pandemic.”

IALPA has said that the work to rule will include a refusal to work overtime or any out of hours duties requested by management.

The pilots will not log into the Aer Lingus crew management system outside of work hours. They are also refusing to answer phone calls outside of work hours.

The industrial relations row began over pay. Members of IALPA voted 98.82% in favour of taking industrial action, up to and including full withdrawal of labour. Turnout for the ballot was 89%.

Tighe added: “Management keep insisting that pilots must sell their working conditions in exchange for any increase in pay. We are absolutely not prepared to do that, especially when Aer Lingus is making enormous profits.”

Pilots who are members of the union are seeking a pay rise of 23.8% over three years, which would be similar to what British Airlines – a sister airline of Aer Lingus – awarded pilots in 2019.

“Aer Lingus have increased their profits by 400% to €255 million last year,” said Tighe.

“Our pay claim is entirely affordable, and Aer Lingus management need to quickly change position if they want to avoid this dispute escalating.”

Members previously rejected a Labour Court recommendation that they should receive a pay increase agreement of 9.25% in the near term.

Impact on travellers

Travel commentator Eoghan Corry told The Journal yesterday that people should not panic about the strike.

“The airline is under contract to get you to where you’re supposed to go. There’s not much point fretting about it,” he said.

“You won’t be out of pocket. They will use Iberia, British Airways, whatever means they can, to get you to where you’re supposed to go.”

Under EU regulations, consumers have certain rights when flights are delayed or cancelled. That could include when there is a strike at the airline involved.

These rights may include compensation for delayed or cancelled flights, as well as care and assistance while passengers wait.

These rights apply when travelling through airports in any EU country or Norway, on board flights departing from these countries, and on flights arriving into any of these countries if you are travelling with an EU airline. 

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