Aer Lingus says revised rosters could make part of its network unviable
Aer Lingus has told cabin crew at the airline that revised rosters would increase costs and make part of its network unviable, putting jobs at risk.
The warning, ahead of a one-day strike by cabin crew on Friday which some estimates have suggested could cost the airline up to €10 million and disrupt the travel plans of nearly 30,000 people, came in an internal note to staff in recent days which has now been made public.
The revised rosters which it referred to in the note are technically known as “5:3:5:3” schedules.
Trials sought However, cabin crew representatives have said that they are not seeking the introduction of these across its short-haul and long-haul operations but rather that they be trialled on its UK and European routes.
In an internal note to cabin crew last week, Aer Lingus management said the airline had already lost a “very significant amount of bookings to other airlines due to negative publicity”.
It said that allegations by the trade union Impact in relation to existing roster arrangements were misleading and that the union had used extreme examples that did not resemble the airline’s actual rosters.
Mismanaged rosters Impact in a reply said cabin crew rosters were unfair, inefficient and above all grossly mismanaged.
“For successive summers, cabin crew have endured rosters which left us fatigued and destroyed any semblance of family life.
“It is a recognised fact that management undercrewed the roster for the summer of 2013.”
The airline has said that the adoption of the 5:3:5:3 roster pattern would provide each cabin crew member with an additional 32 paid free days annually and that this would involve an unacceptable increase in costs.
However, in a replying note to members, the Impact cabin crew committee said it was clear that the 5:3:5:3 roster pattern for pilots on short-haul aircraft was delivering an agreeable work-life balance while simultaneously providing the required levels of productivity