Aer Lingus cabin crew vote in favour of industrial action

Members of IMPACT’s cabin crew branch working at Aer Lingus have voted in favour of industrial action.  The ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action, if the airline fails to agree the implementation of a revised roster for short haul services, and to implement acceptable time off arrangements after long haul flights, was passed with 97% in favour.

The ballot also called for action in the event of further breaches by management of existing collective agreements, and if the company fails to implement an outstanding Labour Court recommendation on supervisors contracts.

IMPACT official Michael Landers said that the result of the ballot indicated the depth of feeling about the issues contained in the ballot. “The current roster patterns are best described as erratic. We have sought consultation with management on the implementation of a more sustainable and predictable roster which is already in place for pilots and which many other airlines also have in place for cabin crew. But management simply haven’t engaged with us, and today’s result demonstrates the frustration of cabin crew as a result” he said.

Mr Landers said that rosters are subject to changes at short notice. “Many cabin crew are struggling to maintain caring arrangements for when they are on duty, and cabin crew have reported incidences of extreme fatigue among crew, necessitating medical attention. It cannot continue like this” he said.

Cabin crew have sought a roster similar to those for pilots at the airline, of five work days followed by three rest days (known as a ‘5:3’ roster pattern).  Currently, cabin crew can work up to 60 hours in a seven day period, resulting in shift patterns of six working days and one rest day, followed by six more working days.

Cabin crew were also balloted for action in order to achieve agreement on the dispute with Aer Lingus on the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme (IASS). That ballot passed with just over 96% in favour.

IMPACT’s cabin crew branch committee will meet in the coming days with IMPACT’s divisional executive to discuss the options for industrial action.