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A stock image of an Aer Lingus plane. Alamy Stock Photo
Industrial Action

Irish Airline Pilots' Association begin voting on strike action against Aer Lingus

An electronic ballot conducted recently has resulted in questions from Aer Lingus about the legitimacy of the vote.

THE IRISH AIRLINE Pilots’ Association (IALPA) have today begun voting on paper ballots for industrial action “up to and including full withdrawal of labour” at Aer Lingus over a pay dispute.

Members of the union had voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action via an electronic ballot earlier this week. Almost 98% of them voted yes, with a turnout of 98%. 

However, Aer Lingus raised questions about the legitimacy of the ballot following the results. 

Two in-person polling stations, one in Dublin and one in Cork, will remain open from today until Monday morning, for pilots to cast their votes on the issue. 

In a message issued to union members this morning, IALPA said: “The executive unanimously recommends that members vote yes in this ballot.”

President of the union, Captain Mark Tighe, addressed members in a short video this morning.

“IAPLA has remained in intensive negotiations with the company over the last week,” he said.

“The continuing block to resolution is the company’s insistence on work practice changes to fund your pay award.”

Tighe told members that he had received a solicitor’s letter questioning the ballot. 

“We always knew that the company would do anything to prevent you from exercising your rights,” he said. 

Rather than spending weeks in court discussing the issue, he continued, the IALPA would instead open a paper ballot. The result will be returned on Monday. 

This is the start of our journey to secure the pay award you deserve.

Last week, Aer Lingus pilots who are members of the association rejected a Labour Court recommendation that they should receive a pay increase agreement worth 9.25% in the short term.

Members are seeking a pay increase of close to 24%. In 2019, sister airline of Aer Lingus, British Airways, awarded a 24% increase to pilots.

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