Aer Lingus cabin crew to strike on June bank holiday

Vardakar urges use of LRC to avoid 24-hour May 30th stoppage in dispute over rostering

Thousands of people face travel disruption over the June bank holiday weekend after cabin crew at Aer Lingus announced plans to stage a 24- hour strike.

The stoppage on Friday, May 30th, forms part of a dispute over rostering at the airline.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar tonight called on Impact and Aer Lingus to make full use of the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court so a strike can be avoided.

Cabin crew will place pickets at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports for the duration of the stoppage, Impact trade union said in a statement.

Aer Lingus described the industrial action as “completely unwarranted” and said it was continuing to engage with unions on the rostering issues. “It is unacceptable that the trade union has chosen to threaten disruption to customers travel plans in pursuit of roster arrangements, which have such cost implications for our business, that they are simply undeliverable,” a spokesman said.

“We wish to assure our customers that we will do all in our power to prevent any disruption to their travel plans.” Aer Lingus regional services will not be effected.

Impact official Michael Landers said cabin crew have sought to engage with the company on the rostering issue on several occasions over previous years. "The company has simply refused to consider anything other than the erratic rostering patterns that have become the norm at the airline," he said. "It has resulted in an exhausted crew who feel now that the only option left to them is the option of last resort, which is a work stoppage. It's regrettable that it has come to this, but the current arrangements are unsustainable."

The cabin crew was confident alternative rosters could be implemented with no loss of productivity or at extra cost, Mr Lander said.

Impact said cabin crew can work up to 60 hours in a seven-day period. Mr Landers said cabin crew have sought a roster similar to those for pilots at the airline, of five work days followed by three rest days.

Cabin crew passed a ballot at 97 per cent in favour of industrial action.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent