SIPTU members employed by Aer Lingus in ground operations at Dublin Airport have strongly rejected proposals to cut pay and alter their work practices.
ome 82pc, of the approximately 1,100 SIPTU members employed by Aer Lingus as ground crew at Dublin airport, have rejected proposals by Aer Lingus to reduce costs and change work practices in order to offset losses incurred by the airline due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
SIPTU Senior management has confirmed that prior to the ballot, union representatives and organisers engaged with management at Aer Lingus concerning the changes it wished to implement.
SIPTU sector organiser, Niall Phillips, said their members have clearly rejected what was proposed to them.
“Workers in the aviation sector have been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Many have been laid off for long periods of time, others saw significant reductions in their working hours and hundreds have been made redundant across the sector,” he added.
SIPTU division organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “While the majority of our members in Aer Lingus who rejected this proposal continue to work at 80pc of their normal hours, we can’t forget that there are many others still on short-time work or lay off.”
Ms O’Loughlin has said their members accept that the aviation industry has suffered significant losses due to the pandemic but so did its workers.
She said they believe, however, that this not been adequately recognised by the company and that the only way for a meaningful recovery in Aer Lingus is for both workers and the company to have the same opportunity to recover.
“Permanent cuts to workers’ terms and conditions is not the way to achieve this.
“The sort of one-sided recovery which was proposed by the company is not acceptable to our members and is clearly not the way forward,” she added.
It comes as last week cabin crew at the airline also rejected a proposal of cost-cutting measures by more than 80pc.
After the cabin crew vote against the deal, the airline moved quickly to announce a pay freeze until 2025 and work practice changes.
Cabin service managers were told by the airline they would now remain on 60pc of their pay for the foreseeable future instead of a promised move to 80pc of pay.
The airline said it was likely there would be “a requirement to implement lay-offs at this and other cabin crew grades from early 2022”.