Shannon-based cabin crew see lay-off period extended, says union

Shannon-based cabin crew see lay-off period extended, says union

AER Lingus cabin crew based at Shannon Airport will be laid off for longer, their trade union has said.

The staff working for the flag carrier had expected a return to work early next month, as the firm gradually resumed operations at the airport.

But the Fórsa trade union – which represents 5,000 aviation staff –has confirmed that a roster published today shows cabin crew will remain laid off until at least June 20. The union said the extended layoff is another devastating blow for staff and for the region.

Fórsa official Ashley Connolly said the union is calling on Aer Lingus to provide a commitment to Shannon base and to those who work there.

“Uncertainty remains over the recovery and future of aviation, despite signs of hope as more people are vaccinated against Covid-19. Slowly but surely we are seeing roadmaps to reopening, which is encouraging after more than a year of restrictions, but there is no equivalent plan for aviation, an industry that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Ireland,” she said.

She said the extended layoffs reveals the continuing vulnerable state of the industry and the economy of this region.

It is, Ms Connolly added, why the workers need to get a solid commitment from Aer Lingus as to its future in Shannon.

Aer Lingus has not operated out of Shannon since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, in a move which has seen passenger numbers decimated.

Fórsa said it had previously warned that thousands of jobs dependent on aviation could be lost permanently unless the government acts to support the sector though a second summer of inactivity caused by Covid-related travel restrictions.

It’s called for enhanced industry-specific wage supports, easier access to mortgage payment breaks, and enhanced Government supports to the industry including a State-led stakeholder engagement to develop a survival plan for the sector.

In a statement, Aer Lingus said it's "currently flying a significantly reduced schedule. The schedule for the duration of 2021, and beyond, remains under constant review."

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