Aer Lingus plans to lay off all 1,200 of its cabin crew in Ireland, then rehire some of them at a lower pay scale. According to the Irish Times, “The move follows the rejection by cabin crew of the terms of a controversial €97 million cost-saving deal which involved over 600 voluntary redundancies, pay cuts and work practice changes.”
Aer Lingus will eliminate 230 jobs, and also do away with the position level of cabin manager. Current cabin managers will receive new contracts.
Predictably (and understandably) the cabin crew union is not pleased. Impact, the union, called the move “brutal, targeted and unfair.” According to the Times, “Impact said cabin crew workers had proved themselves, over successive cost-saving programmes since 2001, to be a loyal and understanding group of workers, but the company’s new proposals would very likely bring that loyalty to an end.”
Here’s the full list of changes at Aer Lingus:
- Targeted compulsory redundancies at statutory minimum levels, including the de-layering of the cabin crew organisation;
- New working conditions to achieve increased productivity;
- Transition to new pay scale, including reduced salaries;
- Reduction in variable pay;
- Implementation of new Aer Lingus principles of employment.
At the moment this doesn’t seem like something that should disrupt service, though consumers flying with Aer Lingus in the near term (that means me!) should definitely keep an eye on the situation.