21/01/2011

All Aer Lingus Flights Operational

Aer Lingus is to operate its full schedule today after being forced to hire aircraft from Ryanair and other airlines while its dispute with cabin crew continues.

Aer Lingus said more than 100 members of cabin crew, who are represented by the trade union Impact, had been taken off the payroll by management for refusing to operate controversial new rosters.

Last night, the union representing the disgruntled workers said it had submitted 28 discrimination claims to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on behalf of cabin crew who have been removed from duties and payroll by Aer Lingus management.

The union said other claims are likely to follow and that it has asked the Equality Tribunal to investigate claims that the company’s action may breach equality laws that forbid discrimination on the grounds of family status and gender.

A spokesman for the union said this morning that the discrimination arises from the imposition of rosters, which have greater impact on female staff and that make it impossible for staff to manage their family responsibilities.

Yesterday, Aer Lingus cancelled 34 flights between Dublin and the UK and other parts of Europe, due to continuing staff disputes.

The part state owned carrier said an estimated 2,700 people were affected.

Aer Lingus said it sincerely regretted the cancellations and that the sole responsibility for the disruption to customers' travel plans lied with Impact trade union members who "continue to take industrial action despite 15 months of negotiation, agreement, clarification, conciliation and binding arbitration".

The Impact trade union said that the rosters Aer Lingus management is seeking to impose is in contravention of the ‘Greenfield Agreement’ it signed last year.

(DW/GK)

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