Pilots start industrial motion over pay dispute | EUROtoday

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By Davy Wilson, BBC News NI

PA Media grounded Aer Lingus planes on runwayPA Average

Pilots’ industrial motion will final indefinitely

Aer Lingus pilots have begun industrial motion in an ongoing dispute with the airline over pay.

Members of the Irish Air Line Pilot’s Association (IALPA) started an indefinite work-to-rule at midnight on Wednesday.

An eight-hour strike is deliberate for Saturday.

Separate conferences on Tuesday on the Labour Court in Dublin involving the IALPA and Aer Lingus failed to succeed in a decision.

Hundreds of flights cancelled

The airline mentioned it’s disillusioned the Labour Court didn’t intervene within the dispute however will as a substitute overview the matter in July.

“Aer Lingus will continue to focus on minimising the disruption caused to customers by IALPA’s industrial action,” it mentioned in an announcement to Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

The airline mentioned it “has made it clear that it remains available for discussions both directly and through the State’s industrial relations framework”.

The total number of flights cancelled as a result of the industrial action, Aer Lingus said, has now risen to 270.

It called on IALPA to “think about the injury that its continued industrial motion is inflicting upon passengers, the corporate and the Irish financial system”.

Speaking to BBC News NI, IALPA president Capt Mark Tighe mentioned the work was now in place as a result of Aer Lingus administration “have refused to see the reasonableness of our accumulative inflationary pay claim”.

IALPA are in search of a 24% pay rise.

Capt Tighe mentioned and “acceptable offer” would see the commercial motion finish.

He added: “The company have refused point blank to see their wisdom and sense in keeping their staffs’ salaries in line with inflation.

“We’re not looking to increase our pay, we are looking to preserve our income,” he added.

“It is not unreasonable for staff to want their salary protected”.

He said the work to rule includes “some added industrial elements”.

“Basically pilots who have always been very flexible in making sure that airplanes got home in delay situations, and coming in on days off – some pilots did, most don’t because of work life balance – but with that withdrawn, the flexibility is gone”.

PA Media Simon Harris, Irish prime ministerPA Average

Simon Harris has called for intensive engagement between both sides to bring an end to the dispute

Capt Tighe said people should be aware that it is only a small number of pilots that give up their days off to work.

“For the company to turn around to say they’re cancelling up to 20% of their flights because of this means they are so short of pilots, they have a problem they’re not willing to address,” he said.

On Tuesday, senior political figures in the Republic of Ireland called for a resolution to be found.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Simon Harris had called on Aer Lingus and IALPA to “have interaction intensively” at the Labour Court to avoid “utter chaos” for air passengers.

He urged both sides to “dig deep”, calling for “compromise, engagement and sitting round a desk”.

Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Micheál Martin in the meantime mentioned there was “an urgent necessity” to discover a decision.

The public, he added, have been being ignored by either side within the dispute.

“It’s shocking that they’re being ignored, and wilfully, if you like, put to one side in this battle between the management of Aer Lingus and unions,” Mr Martin mentioned.

What do I do if my Aer Lingus flight is cancelled?

The airline has mentioned passengers with flights booked between 26 June and a pair of July have numerous choices accessible.

Each ought to be contacted by way of e-mail or SMS, or via their journey agent.

For prospects who’ve booked instantly with Aer Lingus, there’s the choice to vary flights on-line.

The firm mentioned it is going to waive the fare distinction and any change price if rebooking for a later date.

There can also be the choice to request a full refund or a refund voucher, which may be redeemed inside 5 years.

Aer Lingus mentioned passengers who booked via a journey agent or third occasion should contact these firms instantly.

“Unfortunately, Aer Lingus is unable to assist directly in these cases,” Aer Lingus outlines on its web site.