Fianna Fáil’s Transport spokesperson Timmy Dooley is calling on the Government to vote against the remuneration package for Aer Lingus senior management, including its Chief Executive Christoph Mueller, while the pension crisis at the company remains unresolved. Mr. Mueller is in line to receive a €1.5 million pay package this year. The payments include bonuses and a pension top up. Fianna Fáil wants the Government to oppose the payout at the airline’s AGM next month.
“The Government has a 25% stake in Aer Lingus and has the power to vote against these large salaries and pension payments. It’s incredible to think that Ministers could approve exorbitant bonuses for management at a time when they expect ordinary workers to take a hit on their pensions”, commented Deputy Dooley.
“Staff at the airline are working under a constant cloud of uncertainty about their own salaries and pensions. One of the bonuses that is proposed for Mr. Mueller is a €400,000 payout for solving the pension deficit at the airline, something which to date remains unresolved. The pension deficit in the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme is almost €800 million and is the subject of ongoing tension between management and unions.
“Staff are shocked and angered by the high salaries and bonuses that senior management have received over the past three years. It reflects a culture that has served the country badly in the past, and yet it is taking place in a company that is one quarter owned by the State. The Minister is again trying to pass the buck, claiming that it would be inappropriate for him to intervene, but this stance ignores the simple fact that he is a very substantial and influential shareholder.
“Minister Varadkar has a chance to definitively demonstrate the Government’s stance on this sort of bonus culture. Ministers have been vocal on the issue in the past but now that they have an opportunity to do something about it, they go quiet.”