Aer Lingus: Tánaiste says sale of stake no risk to Irish jobs

Company is committed to regular interaction with unions, Joan Burton insists

Joan Burton: “It has no impact or inference for employment in Aer Lingus in Ireland.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Joan Burton: “It has no impact or inference for employment in Aer Lingus in Ireland.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Tánaiste Joan Burton insisted jobs would be protected in the sale of the Government’s stake in Aer Lingus.

She said the airline had been involved in “significant recruitment’’ in the recent past.

“This is an airline that is going to expand,’’ she said.

She added the company was committed to a regular and structured interaction with the trade unions relating to terms and conditions of employees.

Ms Burton said the House would shortly consider legislation on registered employment agreements. She said the airline customer had been forgotten in the debate on the issue.

Ms Burton said the key issue in a consultant’s report was that it referred to business abroad. “So it has no impact or inference for employment in Aer Lingus in Ireland, ’’ she added.

She said Nyras, as she understood it, was a consultancy company engaged by Aer Lingus to carry out confidential analysis of the airline’s cost structure.

The report was an internal document in a private company and it would not be common for Government departments and the Cabinet to receive a copy, she added.

Fianna Fáil spokesman Timmy Dooley said the vote on the Government’s motion allowing the sale to go ahead should be postponed so there could be further debate on the issue.

“We can sit next week to do it, in line with original promises made by the Government,’’ he added. “We can look at these so-called legal guarantees, the emergence of this B share and whether it is all it is made out to be and so on.’’

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the deal contained vague or, at least, qualified promises of no compulsory redundancies and no out-sourcing. “The pensioners are to get nothing, but the executives are to enjoy a bonanza, pay-outs of the scale of a bonanza,’’ she added.

Renua Ireland TD Lucinda Creighton said IAG had the resources to invest in stock and aircraft to which Aer Lingus otherwise would not have access. “Companies that cannot invest and renew die,’’ she added.