Aer Lingus have informed their Shannon based cabin crew that they are to be temporarily laid off.
Management told staff they had “no option” but to introduce job losses in Shannon while their equivalents in Dublin and Cork will see reductions to their pay and roster of between 30% to 50%.
Changes at the airline are to be introduced from June 21st when the State’s temporarily wage subsidy scheme concludes. It is expected that Aer Lingus’ Shannon staff will be let go for at least three months.
A spokesperson for Aer Lingus told The Clare Echo that they have been in direct communication with employees throughout the COVID-19 crisis. “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.
Aer Lingus did not confirm how many individuals were affected by the decision to let Shannon Airport staff go.
“Unfortunately Aer Lingus is currently not operating any flights out of Shannon Airport,” the spokesperson added. “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”.
Mary Montgomery, Head of Inflight Services in a video message to staff described their current situation as “unsustainable” with just 5% of normal traffic in operation. The impact to finances at the airlines has been “extraordinary”, she said.
Staff were told Aer Lingus needs to match its resources to the current schedule. “Shannon base has had zero flights for the last two months and this will continue for the next roster period, therefore we have no option but to temporarily lay off crew based in Shannon,” she said.
Prior to the announcement, Cathal Crowe (FF) had called on Aer Lingus to reconsider its restructuring plan. He acknowledged that the airline had “taken a battering in recent weeks”.
“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,” the Clare TD stated.