THE laying-off of 198 Cork-based Aer Lingus cabin crew and ground staff without pay between September 12th and November 22nd is devastating, according to unions.
The airline is temporarily closing its base in Cork to coincide with planned work that will result in the main runway being shut down for three months.
It is permanently closing its base in Shannon Airport, with the loss of 81 cabin crew and 45 ground staff, and it has warned of the potential for more lay-offs and said that further redundancies will be needed, including reducing the Cork headcount by 10.
Fórsa, which represents cabin crew and pilots, said it is looking for meaningful management engagement to find ways of getting staff back to work as quickly as possible.
It has also called for urgent government action, including a bespoke aviation income support scheme, to underpin jobs and maintain the relationship between employers and employees during what is likely to be a long period of recovery.
Siptu, which represents around 60 ground staff in Cork, said: ‘The workers involved have been on significantly reduced earnings throughout the pandemic and this latest announcement comes as a further blow.’
Earlier this month Aer Lingus said it had lost €103m during the first three months of this year, following a €361m loss last year.
After briefing staff on the job losses it said: ‘Structural change will also be required across the business.’
Cork South West FF TD Christopher O’Sullivan said the company must ensure the workers have jobs to come back to.
‘We cannot see a repeat of what’s just happened with Aer Lingus in relation to the cabin crews in Shannon Airport. It’s important that we get an assurance from the company that it won’t be repeated in Cork,’ he said.