Fórsa and other unions in Aer Lingus have been told that the airline is to reduce working time for the month of April, with the effect that staff earnings will be reduced by 50%.
Management told unions today the airline will be operating just 20-25% of the usual number of flights in the coming weeks, due to travel restrictions and reduced demand caused by the global Covid-19 public health crisis.
The airline said the reduction in earnings will be implemented equally across the company, with all grades – including senior management – experiencing a 50% cut.
Aer Lingus has assured the unions that these are emergency, temporary measures, and that normal pay and conditions will be restored once the situation has normalised.
Because the cut is due to short-time working, staff may qualify for social welfare payments.
A Forsa official said while it will be hard for their members to absorb the loss, they are please there have been job losses.
“This is obviously devastating news for cabin crew and other Aer Lingus staff struggling to pay rent and mortgages," Fórsa official Ashley Connolly said. “The union has been in intensive talks with Aer Lingus management over the last few days with the aim of minimising the impact of this crisis on jobs and incomes.
"Given the impact of the public health crisis on the airline industry, we’re relieved that we have been able to keep everyone in a job.
"We will be advising them about their rights to social welfare payments and other protections."
Fórsa remains in discussions with other airlines including Stobart and Ryanair, as well as the agencies that provide cabin crew to Ryanair.