Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Tourism & Sport Timmy Dooley has welcomed a decision by Aer Lingus unions and management to re-enter talks over their ongoing roster dispute.  The row has led to IMPACT members threatening a 24 hour strike this Friday.  Both sides are to go back to the talks table in a bid to resolve the dispute; however, it’s unclear if the weekend action will be called off.

Deputy Dooley commented, “Unions and management need to enter this latest round of talks with an open mind and a genuine desire to resolve this row, which has been a source of industrial relations instability for a number of years.  It’s a complex and complicated dispute and like any other can only be resolved by mediation, discussion and compromise.  I’m urging representatives to make a concerted effort to hold meaningful talks to move the situation forward.

“Thousands of passengers have been affected by this threatened strike action.  Over 200 flights have been cancelled and holiday makers have been forced to change their arrangements for the bank holiday weekend as a result of the proposed action.  Even if the strike is called off, these passengers have already been inconvenienced.

“The successive threats of action by the union highlight the deep divisions between members and management at the company.  The union has accused the company of refusing to engage with them over the rosters, which they say are “erratic”, while management is warning that the introduction of the schedules sought by cabin crew could lead to a loss of more than 300 jobs here.

“It’s imperative that both sides come to a workable solution.  The current impasse is damaging for the company and for the country.  We need to establish a more secure industrial relations environment at Aer Lingus to ensure more stable working relations at the company”, Deputy Dooley concluded.