Aer Lingus is set to lay off workers at Shannon Airport as the airline continues to suffer from the current grounding of the majority of flights.
The news comes as Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe urged the airline to reconsider its restructuring plan, which it’s feared will leave workers in a vulnerable position.
It has emerged today that Aer Lingus will not resume flights from Shannon before September. Aer Lingus workers at Shannon have, according to sources, been told they have been laid off until the end of August.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic all but shut down the aviation sector, Aer Lingus workers have been on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Despite this difficult situation, which has left many workers on a much lower rate of pay, Aer Lingus has announced that it will press ahead with a planned restructuring of the company, up to and including layoffs.
“Aer Lingus was in a healthy position going into this pandemic but like all airlines, has taken a battering in recent weeks,” said Deputy Crowe.
“I appreciate that because of the effective shut down of the industry, adjustments need to be made. However, last week’s announcement saw the airline’s management confirm it will be moving ahead with the restructuring plan, which has been put together without any consultation with employees or unions.
“I’ve written to both the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance on this issue as job cuts within our flag carrier could have desperate consequences for us here in Clare, with Shannon Airport on our doorstep.
“Shannon has taken enough hits in recent years without having to deal with job losses at Aer Lingus. I believe it’s imperative that that government steps in here and works with Aer Lingus to see what alternative options are open to it.”
In a statement his afternoon, the airline said: “Throughout this crisis Aer Lingus has been communicating directly with our employees. This week we are communicating with our employees on an individual level as we align working hours and pay with the amount of work that needs to be done.
Unfortunately, Aer Lingus is currently not operating any flights out of Shannon Airport.
We have also been engaging with the representative bodies on an ongoing basis regarding the urgent requirement to reduce costs across our business given the decimation in demand for travel in the immediate term and the uncertainly regarding future travel demand thereafter.”