Proposals for Aer Lingus staff not to engage in industrial action until 2022 would set a “dangerous precedent for workers nationwide”, according to a Cork TD.
It’s been reported that the company has proposed pay cuts and work practice reforms to unions, which includes a proposal for no strikes or industrial action until February 2022.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry said the right to engage in industrial action is essential for workers.
“Without it employers have the power to ride roughshod over workers' interests in the workplace.
"If a strike ban was conceded to such a high profile company as Aer Lingus it would encourage other employers to push for something similar and set a terrible precedent for working people nationwide,” the Cork North Central TD said.
Deputy Barry said that if Aer Lingus succeeds in making these “brutal changes” it would “fire the starting gun for a race to the bottom in workers' pay and conditions nationwide.”
He said: “Workers carried the can for the banking crisis ten years ago, they should not carry the can for the Covid crisis today.
"With these proposals Aer Lingus have fired the starting gun for a race to the bottom.
“Experience at Aer Lingus and elsewhere shows that changes in pay and conditions once conceded then become the new normal.
"The trade unions must act from the get go to ensure that this race is disrupted and stopped,” he added.
Deputy Barry has called for a special Covid-19 wealth tax to be introduced, alongside the accessing of the Apple taxes.
He said it would create a cash pool to benefit working people, and “that would include the renationalisation of Aer Lingus and public funding to tide the airline through the crisis.”