Cabin crew union Fórsa says Aer Lingus refused to attend a Labour Court hearing over the airline’s plan to close its Shannon base, where up to 126 jobs are at stake.
Aer Lingus plans to close its cabin crew base at Shannon Airport. It has offered affected workers the option of transferring to Cork or Dublin, or taking voluntary redundancy.
Fórsa said on Thursday that Aer Lingus refused to attend a Labour Court hearing on the planned closure after talks between management and the union failed to reach agreement on staff transfers or redundancy terms.
Instead the union says Aer Lingus emailed staff on Wednesday inviting them to apply for transfers to Cork or Dublin or opt for redundancy on “take it or leave it” terms.
The closure will directly affect 83 cabin crew, but could also have implications for ground crew based at the airport, meaning there is a question mark over 126 jobs.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions wrote to Aer Lingus this week describing its refusal to attend the Labour Court as serious and a significant departure from “normal and agreed industrial relations procedures”.
Fórsa maintains that it sought meaningful talks with management, aimed at saving as many jobs as possible, when the airline announced the closure in May. The union wants redeployment prioritised over redundancy.
Aer Lingus said that the 16-month Covid-19 crisis had left if facing “significant restructuring” to rebuild its network and finances.
“This includes the permanent closure of the Aer Lingus cabin crew base at Shannon Airport,” the airline said.
“There has not been a flight out of Shannon since April 2020. The decision to close the Shannon cabin crew base was not taken lightly and a reversal will not be possible.”