ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, is the latest business group to call for the IMPACT strike at Aer Lingus, being planned in Shannon, Cork and Dublin for the 30th of May, to be cancelled immediately.
The Association criticised the union for calling strike action, which will damage Ireland’s reputation internationally and cause drastic disruption to travelers and businesses.
Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, commented, “It is totally irresponsible of Impact to schedule strike action at Aer Lingus. Apart from the obvious travel chaos on the day itself, potential tourists will think twice about coming to Ireland during the summer season when they see and hear of striking workers at the airport, once again.”
“A drop in passenger numbers will have a very serious impact on jobs, not alone at the airline, but right across the economy. It is in the best interests of all parties to the dispute to sit down and reach a resolution before further damage is done, both to the reputation of the country and the company. The international reputational damage from transport strikes and delays has massive knock-on effects, which can take years to correct.”
“The travelling public cannot be held to ransom once again and the futile strike strengthens the argument for a ban on all strikes in public utility and transport companies. The Association calls on both sides to settle this difficulty through normal industrial relations negotiation channels before Ireland gets a name internationally as a ‘no-go area’ for tourists,” Mr. Fielding concluded.
Meanwhile, Aer Lingus has said: “We apologise to our customers for the uncertainty and inconvenience this unnecessary industrial action by IMPACT has caused. We will do everything possible to minimise the disruption.”
Chambers Ireland has also called on IMPACT Cabin Crew in Aer Lingus to suspend their proposed strike action.
Speaking this morning, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said “Whether this strike goes ahead or not, significant damage has already been done. While the trigger happy tactic of threatening a strike with a view to causing maximum disruption is something we have seen before in other jurisdictions, applying it here is seriously detrimental to Ireland’s reputation as a tourist destination. More than 28,000 people who are due to fly in and out of the country on Bank Holiday Friday have now been left with their travel plans in chaos. This does not take into account the thousands of people who had yet to book a flight when Aer Lingus were forced to suspend sales.”