IMPACT has written to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohue TD, to advise that any assurances offered by IAG and Aer Lingus about job security – in the event of a successful takeover by IAG – are essentially worthless. The union has also said that previous airline mergers and takeovers have resulted in higher ticket prices for the travelling public. IMPACT is the largest union representing staff at Aer Lingus.
In the letter sent today (Monday 25th May) national secretary Matt Staunton said “It is our considered view that a successful bid and subsequent merging of the airlines will result in higher consumer costs, which would be tremendously damaging to our fragile economic recovery.”
Mr Staunton said that delegates at last week’s IMPACT conference in Galway had considered the refusal of Aer Lingus to respond to a request for assurances, on a range of items, in the event of a takeover by IAG. Mr Staunton said “The conclusion of our conference delegates is that any assurances you have received, particularly in relation to job security, are worthless.
“The union has sought assurances on job security for existing staff, and a commitment that direct employment would be the preferred model in the event of a change of ownership. In the absence of any kind of response, our conference delegates could draw no other conclusion last week” he said.
Mr Staunton added that delegates at the conference last week had made reference to the announcement in December 2012, by the previous transport minister Leo Varadkar, that the Government opposed a bid for the airline at that time because it did not satisfy concerns about connectivity, competitiveness or employment for Ireland. “Most delegates at my conference made the point that the same concerns remain about this bid, so what, if anything, has changed?” he said.
Mr Staunton said that previous airline mergers and takeovers had resulted in higher ticket prices for the travelling public. “This concern has not formed part of any public discussion or debate with regard to IAG’s bid to take over Aer Lingus. It is our considered view that a successful bid and subsequent merging of the airlines will result in higher consumer costs, which would be tremendously damaging to our fragile economic recovery. I would appeal to you share these views from IMPACT with your cabinet colleagues prior to making any decision” he said.