Aer Lingus Strike Now 'Highly Likely'

Trade union Siptu has warned that industrial action at Aer Lingus now seems “highly likely”, in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Siptu said efforts to resolve the dispute over the €748 million deficit in the pension scheme at Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority ended in disarray at the Labour Relations Commission on Thursday night.

The union claims the talks broke down when Aer Lingus representatives refused to meet unions representing the staff pension committees.

“Despite a request from the LRC, Aer Lingus refused to meet directly with the employee’s representatives. The company is also refusing to attend the Labour Court in relation to the issue.”

Siptu organiser Dermot O’Loughlin said talks with the Dublin Airport Authority over the pension issue had been “positive”.

He said the union was now entering into local talks with the airport authority on the issue.

"Local (union) representatives sought the opportunity to meet with the management side to tease out the specifics of the company’s proposal. The company refused to meet and only provided a three-quarter page note entitled ‘Proposal Summary’ which was bereft of detail,” O’Loughlin said.

Adding: “It is the view of the pension committee that Aer Lingus has chosen to deliberately abandon all meaningful and reasonable negotiations to resolve the pension crisis. Our members are angry and disillusioned at the discourteous behaviour of the Aer Lingus management team.”

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