Aer Lingus, the Irish carrier, has alleged that its pilots are refusing to work as a result of their dissatisfaction with pay and sick leave arrangements. The airline has warned trade union Fórsa that it is considering taking further action in response to what it perceives as industrial action. Unionised pilots at Aer Lingus are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa), which falls under the auspices of Fórsa. However, Fórsa has denied that its pilot members are engaged in any industrial action.
In a letter to Fórsa, Aer Lingus Chief Operations Officer Adrian Dunne stated that the alleged non-cooperation by pilots has led to the cancellation of 13 transatlantic flights since September 8th, as well as significant disruptions and re-routings within Europe. Mr. Dunne claimed that the disruption is directly linked to a withdrawal of pilot cooperation. This has caused considerable problems for passengers who have had their travel plans disrupted, resulting in significant costs for the airline. So far, Aer Lingus says it has incurred costs of over €2m as a direct result of the pilot non-cooperation.
Although the airline acknowledged that flight delays can occasionally occur due to the unpredictable nature of the industry, Mr. Dunne stressed that it is normal for Aer Lingus to request that crews continue with their scheduled duties under working conditions provided for in collective agreements. However, since September 8th, the “vast majority” of operating crews have declined to cooperate with the roster duties by working under these conditions, according to Mr. Dunne.
Fórsa’s National Secretary, Katie Morgan, denied that the trade union has sanctioned or engaged in any industrial action. She stated that any insinuation of industrial action by members is unfounded. Despite this, Mr. Dunne claimed that evidence, including messages on WhatsApp groups, suggests a premeditated and organized campaign by pilots to limit their cooperation.
The airline assumes that the alleged action by pilots is unofficial, but noted that the consequences of such action could have implications for those involved.
A pilot pay tribunal is set to resume on next Tuesday to address the ongoing pay and sick leave issues.
Source: The Irish Times
- Industrial action: A collective action taken by a group of individuals in a workplace to protest against unfavorable employment conditions.
- Trade union: An organization that aims to protect and promote the rights and interests of workers in a particular industry or occupation.
- Non-cooperation: A refusal to work in accordance with established rules or guidelines, leading to disruptions in normal operations.