500 jobs to go at Aer Lingus: 'Government needs to intervene'

500 jobs to go at Aer Lingus: 'Government needs to intervene'
Aer Lingus has announced this evening that they are seeking 500 redundancies at the airline. 

Aer Lingus is to cut its workforce by up to 500 people as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a "catastrophic effect" on the aviation industry.

The airline said that it is currently operating less than 5% of its normal schedule. It also said there is no certainty as to when the restoration of its services or the future demand for travel once services resume.

Aer Lingus has a workforce of 1,500 employees across Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports.

In a statement, Aer Lingus also said the crisis is "exacerbated" by Ireland's 14-day quarantine requirement for passengers arriving into the State and travel guidelines which advise against all non-essential travel.

Aer Lingus has announced this evening that they are seeking 500 redundancies at the airline.
Aer Lingus has announced this evening that they are seeking 500 redundancies at the airline.

"Ireland has failed to take steps that other European Member States have taken - they have progressively restored transport services and connectivity in response to a European Commission invitation to do so," an Aer Lingus spokesman said.

"The requirement to reduce the size of the airline in response to the crisis means that today Aer Lingus has issued a notification to the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Regina Doherty) regarding proposed collective redundancies in the airline.

"Aer Lingus has informed the Minister that headcount reductions of up to 500 employees across the business are anticipated.

"Aer Lingus is now commencing the required consultation process with employee representative organisations."

Forsa, the union representing staff at Aer Lingus, said it would engage with Aer Lingus management regarding the proposed redundancies in the airline.

Pic; Larry Cummins,Evening Echo staff
Pic; Larry Cummins,Evening Echo staff

The union, which represents cabin crew, pilots and certain management staff in the company, said it would "enter discussions with the objective of minimising the number of job losses and protecting the incomes of Aer Lingus staff".

The union said it is not making any further comment at this time.

Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has called on the government to intervene in the escalating crisis.

Speaking this evening, Mr Ó Laoghaire said; “This is very concerning news coming from Aer Lingus this evening that will only add to the stress and anxiety of workers at the airline. There are hundreds of Aer Lingus workers in Cork, and they will be deeply worried by this news."

“The pandemic has obviously had a major impact on the airline industry, but the government here have taken a complete hands-off approach to dealing with it.” 

Mr O’Laoghaire said the situation at the airline has been repeatedly raised with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross.

 “He has done nothing to address the escalating crisis in the sector,” Mr O’Laoghaire said.

“The Fine Gael/Labour government should never have sold off the State’s remaining shares in Aer Lingus in 2015, and unfortunately the consequences of this are now coming to the fore.

“The government and especially those Government TDs representing Cork need to intervene in this situation and use their influence to protect workers, their jobs and their pay and conditions.”

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