Unions at Aer Lingus say that their position on the €1.36 billion bid for the airline has not changed since they outlined their fears about the impact of such a deal on workers to politicians last month.
According to a statement from the company's central representative council (CRC) its position "remains consistent" with the views expressed by trade union officials recently to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications.
The statement came following comments by its secretary, Myles Worth, which sparked speculation that the council had softened its stance on the proposed €2.55 a-share offer for Aer Lingus by International Consolidated Airlines' Group (IAG).
The CRC, whose membership is made up of Aer Lingus trade union representatives, said that the “publicly expressed views of Mr Myles Worth remain his personal views and not the position of the officers of the CRC”.
The council also backed Mr Worth, saying that he remained a valued member of its officer board.
Mr Worth himself and a number of Aer Lingus trade union officials recently told the Oireachtas committee that the prospect of an IAG take over raised huge concerns amongst the airline’s staff as they feared job losses.
They also urged that the Government should not agree to sell the State’s 25.1 per cent holding in the airline, and that its valuable access rights at London’s Heathrow Airport should be protected.
IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, subsequently told the same committee that job losses at Aer Lingus would be minimal should a deal go ahead. The group is also offering guarantees around security of its Heathrow slots.
Speaking to RTÉ at the weekend, Mr Worth said that Aer Lingus could go into a "downward spin" should a sale not go ahead.
The CRC said that his comments followed the leaking of a letter from him to incoming Aer Lingus chief executive, Stephen Kavanagh.