Trade union wants more negotiation over 'premature' Aer Lingus job cuts plan

Aer Lingus has already cut pay and working hours for staff and has flagged necessary job cuts.

The Fórsa trade union has branded as "premature" plans by Aer Lingus to start cutting jobs and extend reductions in working hours and pay when the Covid wage subsidy scheme expires on June 21.

Aer Lingus has already cut pay and working hours for staff and has flagged necessary job cuts, reported to be in the region of 900 positions.

However, it is understood that staff have now been informed that further reductions and lay-offs will be required after June 21.

Fórsa said this is premature, with there still being time to negotiate.

“To act unilaterally now, and to abandon the efforts to negotiate a solution to the current crisis, and plan for a future recovery, is to squander the time remaining to negotiate real solutions,” said Fórsa official Angela Kirk.

“Nobody is pretending it will be easy, but to shut the door on discussions with a month of state-subsidised support still to go, is not the way to solve the enormous challenges faced by the industry,” she said.

Aer Lingus said it is continuing to communicate directly with employees and to engage with their representative bodies.

Elsewhere, Ryanair said its Austrian subsidiary Lauda will close its Vienna base next week, with 300 jobs going as a result. Ryanair has already announced 250 job cuts and is negotiating up to 3,000 cuts across pilot and cabin crew staff.

Unions have accused Ryanair of exaggerating the Covid threat in negotiations while painting a better picture for investors.

CityJet, which went into examinership last month, said it is due to start negotiations on redundancies across its Irish and UK operations. It said it expects up to 276 flying, engineering support staff and administration jobs to be lost.

The airline operates its aircraft on behalf of customer airlines under so-called ‘wet lease’ agreements. However, four of its five customer airlines cancelled their contracts in March.