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Redundancy Rights: Aer Lingus Redundancies May Exceed 1,000

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The Irish airline Aer Lingus, which posted losses of Ä93m in the first half of 2009, has failed to reach agreement on its controversial Transformation Plan to change working conditions, reduce staff members and cut the pay of those earning over Ä35,000 a year.

On Tuesday, Chief Executive Christoph Mueller announced the company had failed to reach an accord with unions over cost-cutting measures.  He singled out the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) and cabin crew for failing to compromise.  "Instead of sustainable savings of a structural nature, only temporary savings over a short few years were offered by IALPA," he said.

He added, somewhat ominously:

"The Board and Management believe that the majority of our staff understands that Aer Lingus needs to make significant and urgent change if it is to have an independent and successful financial future, and that they are committed to achieving this change.  If successful, we can maximise the scale of the company and keep staff numbers closer to current levels.  However, in the absence of real cost savings being delivered from all employee groups, we will have to resort to other measures."

The airline has already announced 676 redundancies and Mueller conceded on Wednesday this may now exceed 1,000:

"The Board and Management will now move to reduce capacity, further eliminating routes which are loss making as a result of our high cost base.  This will result in the operation of fewer aircraft, which in turn will lead to additional redundancies beyond those included in the Transformation Plan.  It is very likely that these redundancies will commence immediately and will be compulsory."

Redundancy rights

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