Aer Lingus set for work stoppage next Monday

A two-hour work stoppage at Aer Lingus will go ahead next Monday, the SIPTU union has confirmed.

SIPTU representatives at Aer Lingus met this lunchtime, after which shop stewards refused to withdraw their notice of industrial action, in a row over the company' s €748m pension deficit.

There was some hope that the action may be called off following the intervention of IBEC and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions at the weekend.

Aer Lingus agreed to re-enter talks on a "voluntary, non-binding" basis.

However, SIPTU said that the wording of the statement from Aer Lingus on returning to the talks indicates that the company wants concessions over productivity measures in exchange for plugging the pensions deficit.

SIPTU organiser Dermot O'Loughlin today claimed that Aer Lingus is seeking increases in productivity in return for plugging the pension deficit - and that is unacceptable to workers.

"Ultimately, it was a unanimous decision, that, whilst we welcome an initiative that brings about the Labour Court, it’s a little bit too weak in its desires and we have to get clarification that issues around productivity are not going to form the outcome of this pensions crisis," he said.

An Aer Lingus spokesperson has previously denied the union's claims, however.

"The requirement for employment cost stabilisation measures has been consistently stated by Aer Lingus in all of its statements," a spokesperson said previously in a statement.

"This requirement is not new and Aer Lingus' position in this regard remains unchanged."

Several attempts to contact Aer Lingus for comment this afternoon were unsuccessful.

Talks broke down at the Labour Relations Commission last month and unions served notice of industrial action for next Monday.

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