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Aer Lingus pilots ballot for strike action


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Pilots in Aer Lingus who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) have commenced balloting for industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The ballot opened this afternoon and will close on 12 June.

IALPA is recommending that members vote in favour of industrial action, up to and including strike action.

Earlier this week, IALPA members voted overwhelmingly to reject a Labour Court recommendation aimed at resolving the pay dispute.

The court recommended that the pilots should receive pay increases totalling 9.25% as part of an interim settlement.

The figure was well below the 23.8% that the pilots had been seeking.

Captain Mark Tighe, President of IALPA, said that the pay offers so far do not reflect the large profits being made by Aer Lingus.

“In addition to this, pilots made huge sacrifices in their pay and working conditions during the pandemic in order to save the company,” Captain Tighe said.

“However, management failed to reverse many of these measures, which include lower pay scales for new entrants, while they report bumper profits.”

“Any new pay deal needs to account for the loss of real earnings due to inflation and to bring Aer Lingus pilots’ pay up to the rates of competitor airlines,” he added.

Aer Lingus described the IALPA ballot as entirely unnecessary.

“We are surprised that IALPA commenced this ballot before they met directly with the airline – a meeting with management was being arranged but had not yet taken place,” a spokesperson said.

“Commencing of a ballot is disruptive to the airline’s customers and other employees.”

“IALPA’s failure to engage in the various independent processes in a responsible manner, now risks investment, growth and jobs in the airline into the future. It also threatens unnecessary disruption to customers,” Aer Lingus said.

Last week, Aer Lingus said it had lost the opportunity to secure a new Airbus aircraft for a second time, because of the ongoing pilots pay dispute.

It follows a decision earlier this year by the airline’s parent, IAG, to allocate the first of the new aircraft due for delivery to another group airline because of the uncertainty around costs at Aer Lingus arising from the row.

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