Tough talks at Aer Lingus; new Irish jobs at Ryanair; and rising PRSI

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Aer Lingus is threatening to unilaterally implement a range of tough industrial relations measures after crew roundly rejected a package of proposed changes this week.  Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Aer Lingus is threatening to unilaterally implement a range of tough industrial relations measures after crew roundly rejected a package of proposed changes this week. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

 

Aer Lingus is threatening to unilaterally implement a range of tough measures after crew this week voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed deal. Mark Paul reports that staff this week voted about 82 per cent against the package of measures put forward by the airline.

Meanwhile, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has told Charlie Taylor he hopes that up to 1,000 of the 5,000 jobs planned by the airline over the next five years could be based in the Republic.The hope comes with a caveat however: Mr O’Leary needs the State to introduce an aviation recovery plan first.

The Government has been urged to bring in sizeable increases in PRSI payments for employees, employers and the self-employed from 2023. The call, as reported by Jack Horgan-Jones, is contained within pre-budget papers prepared by senior public servants. The Tax Strategy Group papers also include guidance on tax relief for working from home and electric vehicles, as well as policies on carbon tax and the help-to-buy property scheme.

Teeling Whiskey recorded a 71 per cent increase in its profit in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic closing down most of its major markets for large parts of the year, writes Ciarán Hancock. The rise was due to a sharply lower spend on advertising and promotion in the US.

Irish-owned marketing communications group Core said it expects profits to grow by 50 per cent this year, compared with 2020, as the market shows signs of bouncing back.Ciara O’Brien has that story.

Australian telecoms group Telstra’s chief executive, Andy Penn, has said he sees Digicel Pacific being run separately to his company’s main businesses, should talks on an estimated 2 billion Australian dollars (€1.25 billion)acquisition of the Denis O’Brien-owned unit come to fruition.

If you’ve noticed a few holes in the shelves at your local Marks & Spencer lately, you could be seeking one of the 800 lines the company says it has cut from its stores in the Republic because of Brexit rules and paperwork. The group, which confirmed the closure of stores in France on Thursday, said the withdrawn Irish products include free-range chicken and items containing Parmesan Reggiano.

John FitzGerald is yearning this week for a world where students can once again work abroad for the summer, earning enough money to keep them during term time and gaining cultural (and economic) insights into another country’s ways in the process.

In our Agenda feature, Derek Scally asks what lies ahead for the German economy as Angela Merkel enters her final days as chancellor. The answer, he judges, is far from clear even at this late stage of one of Europe’s great political races.

Mark Paul in his Caveat column takes a considered look at moves made by Primark/Penneys this week to source less environmentally damaging materials in response to societal demand for responses to climate change. He wonders how the higher costs inevitably associated with the endeavour will not eat into the fast-fashion giant’s bottom line.

As thousands of us are faced with a return to the workplace after more than a year of working at home, Olive Keogh advises us to focus on the positives, for our own good. Resilience, she writes, is linked to how we perceive and deal with the world so changing our own narrative can deliver significant rewards.

This week’s Wild Goose is Róisín Russ, a native of Killester in Dublin who has found herself settled as a psychologist in the German town of Bad Nauheim. She arrived in the town, where Elvis Presley did his military service, in 1986 and hasn’t left.

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