Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley TD, says immediate intervention is needed to prevent an immensely costly strike by Aer Lingus staff next month.

Deputy Dooley commented: “In September, strike action was only narrowly averted and at the time I called on Minister Leo Varadkar to meet all sides to try and reach some sort of compromise. Instead he has let the situation slide and now we are again faced with the very real threat of a hugely damaging strike.

“No one is denying that this is a complicated situation but all three parties in this dispute seem to have hit a brick wall. Talks at the LRC haven’t resolved the situation and now it is imperative the Minister becomes involved.

“A strike by Aer Lingus cabin and ground crew could cause untold damage to both the tourism industry while there would be a huge knock-on effect to the economy as well. We are heading into the busy Christmas period and a November strike by Aer Lingus could dissuade much of our diaspora from returning for Christmas. The vital economic lift the Christmas period gives cannot be put under threat, even the possibility of a strike will affect the numbers that plan to come home for Christmas.

“This is a matter of vital national importance and it is imperative the Minister steps up and tries to bring about a compromise.

“The apparent lack of interest from the Minister is worrying and I hope he acts on this sooner rather than later.”