Strained pay talks between Aer Lingus pilots and the airline’s management ran into trouble last week, prompting fears of a threat of industrial action if an agreement cannot be reached.
Negotiations over a new pay deal for the pilots are said to have collapsed at a meeting earlier in the week, although the airline has since insisted the talks were “ongoing”.
According to a number of well-informed sources, there was speculation that the situation was getting closer to pilots as some form of industrial action was under consideration in the coming weeks.
Pilots, who, like their ground and cabin crew colleagues, had suffered big pay cuts during lockdown periods, were in “rebellious mood” and there were fears it could further unsettle the already tense situation at Dublin Airport ahead of the busy August bank holiday weekend , said a source.
Another source described the mood among the pilots as “bullish”.
Aer Lingus has blamed Covid-19 outbreaks among crew, along with a range of other factors, for canceling a large number of flights that have caused significant disruption for passengers in recent weeks. But sources said the situation around cancellations has become more complicated because pilots have chosen not to work overtime hours offered to them on their rest days.
Asked for comment, an Aer Lingus spokeswoman said the airline was in a “process of ongoing discussions on pay-related issues with pilot staff representatives.”
“Recent flight cancellations have been necessitated by a combination of mandated capacity reductions at certain airports (such as London Heathrow and Amsterdam), industrial action at certain airports (such as Bordeaux and Lyon) and increased sick leave among our staff associated with the Covid wave,” she said.
Aer Lingus has had to face a series of difficult negotiations with pilots, cabin crew and ground crew over the past year in order to manage major challenges to its business since the pandemic began.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/aer-lingus-pilot-pay-talks-hit-turbulence-as-bank-holiday-looms-41844628.html Aer Lingus pilots’ salary negotiations are in turmoil as the bank holiday looms