February 23, 2015
IAG takeover bid still opposed by Aer Lingus unions
While Myles Worth, the current secretary of Aer Lingus’s Central Representative Council (CRC) may have dropped his opposition to the IAG bid for Aer Lingus, the two major airline unions, SIPTU and IMPACT have made it clear that any comments made by Worth should be seen as personal and that ahead of a meeting with AIG on Monday, 23rd of February, these comments were not representative of the unions’ position. As with so many aspects of this deal, there is considerable fear of the unknown and the unions are fighting hard to protect as many jobs as possible. What has destabilized matters somewhat is a comment made by AIG’s Willie Walsh to the effect that while some jobs will be lost in the administrative sector, other jobs will be created elsewhere as the airline expands. Hoping to assuage further redundancy concerns, IAG has made it clear they intend to maintain key landing and take-off rights for Irish routes at London’s Heathrow airport for the next five years.
The joint ground of the unions is that without sufficient further discussion and negotiation, no decision can possibly be made regarding the Irish Government’s stake in the airline. In an interview this morning in RTE1, SIPTU’s Divisional Organiser, Owen Ready, made it abundantly clear that any opinions formed on the future for Aer Lingus could only be based on speculation and were therefore uninformed. He then went on to say that “Unless clear and unambiguous commitments can be given on the macro issues, and also on the local micro issues which are equally important, the Government have nothing to consider. They should not consider selling their 25.11% stake.”
It doesn’t help matters that an election is due in Ireland next year, and already the Irish Labour Party’s members have remained resistant to the Irish Government’s share sell-off plans.