Aer Lingus cabin crew take protest to company’s HQ

Aer Lingus cabin crew, who are engaged in a 24 hour work stoppage today, submitted a letter to the company after a protest march this morning which concluded at the Aer Lingus head office. 

Up to 900 cabin crew took part in the protest, with simultaneous protests taking place at Cork and Shannon airports today. The stoppage concludes at midnight tonight, and talks with the airline are set to commence early next week.

The letter, addressed to Aer Lingus CEO Christophe Mueller, outlined the feelings of cabin crew about the dispute, and their concerns about rostering duty at the airline.

The letter is published here in full:

“Dear Mr Mueller,

It is with considerable regret that our members are engaged in industrial action today.

Every member of cabin crew is proud to be a brand ambassador for this airline, proud to wear the Aer Lingus uniform, and proud of the reputation for excellent service that Aer Lingus cabin crew have built up in the course of eight decades of serving the travelling public.

Today, we’re engaged in this industrial action because our experience has been that our employer won’t listen to us. For three years we have raised concerns about the erratic nature of our rosters. We have become accustomed to the chaotic work patterns that are a direct product of those rosters, to the point where we understand the detrimental effect they are having on cabin crew, and the corrosive effect that they are having on the airline too.

What we want to do is talk to our employer about how things can be improved; how we can apply a fixed roster pattern that will deliver the high level of productivity, set by Greenfield, without affecting the airline’s cost base.

The fixed roster pattern we’re proposing will also allow for cabin crew to keep within the EU regulations on duty and block hours, without any necessity for standing crew down for long periods when those limits are reached. We’re proposing a system that is more efficient, better planned, more productive, and ultimately much better for crew who can achieve adequate recovery time between their blocks of duty.

These aren’t outrageous demands, nor are they unreasonable. These are demands that reflect a desire to improve how the company operates, based on the cumulative experience of the 1,200 dedicated men and women employed as cabin crew by Aer Lingus.

That we’re engaged in a stoppage today is a product of frustration that our proposals have been dismissed at every opportunity. We want nothing more than to engage in a constructive dialogue that can solve the problems with the roster. We’ve seen the approach work for our pilot colleagues, and we’re asking that the progress they’ve achieved be considered as a model for positive change in how our work is organised.”

WATCH VIDEO: Aer Lingus cabin crew branch representatives give the letter to the company’s Director of Communicatiosn, Declan Kearney.