Voluntary redundancy scheme will operate at Aer Lingus - Burton

Tánaiste describes IAG deal as ‘very positive’ with a lot of opportunity to develop it further

Labour leader Joan Burton has confirmed a voluntary redundancy scheme will be offered to unions representing Aer Lingus staff following the Government's decision to sell a 25.1 per cent stake in the national carrier.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, the Tánaiste said the sale of the State’s holding is a “very positive deal”, the proceeds of which will be put into a connectivity fund for strategic investment in ports, airports and broadband schemes.

“We have the agreement that there will be no compulsory redundancy. It will be a voluntary redundancy scheme and that will be an issue for the unions, the employee representatives, the employees and the management to address,” she said, following messages from Aer Lingus management that they “do not foresee” any compulsory redundancies.

The exact details of the voluntary redundancy scheme, including the type and number of employees who may avail of it, have not yet been released.


“I think this is a very positive deal with a lot of opportunity to develop it even further.

"The deal is actually committing to a huge number of extra jobs. The visitor numbers into Ireland for this year are up by 13.5 per cent… we're going to have a significant influx of visitors and what I'm interested in as leader of the Labour Party is promoting employment," she added.

Following a long-running saga, the Cabinet agreed to sell the State's 25.1 per cent stake to International Airline Group (IAG) on Tuesday in a deal that is estimated to be worth up to €400 million.

A new seven-year guarantee for the maintenance of Aer Lingus’s Heathrow slots has failed to appease unions such as Siptu and Impact, who continue to oppose the deal.

The sale now satisfies the conditions of a resolution passed at the Labour Party’s national conference calling for the Government to reject the IAG bid in the absence of certain concrete assurances, and a number of Labour TDs who were formally opposed to the sale have now given it their backing.

Ms Burton also lauded the introduction of a registered employment agreement for trade union staff in Aer Lingus, saying she is “really proud of that achievement”.

She was speaking at the graduation ceremony for 47 young people who took part in Diageo’s Learning for Life education programme over a seven week period earlier this year.