Belfast Telegraph

Aer Lingus cabin crew talks planned

Employers body Ibec and trade union umbrella group Congress will act as brokers between Aer Lingus management and workers to try and solve the two-week row over cabin crew rosters.

The airline and the Impact union have agreed to take part in the talks on Friday over the dispute which has grounded dozens of flights.

Some 175 staff have been written to, warning they will be sacked if they do not meet controversial new working arrangements.

In a joint statement Ibec and Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) said: "In view of the serious nature of the dispute, Ictu and Ibec have invited the National Secretary of Impact and the chief HR officer of the company to brief them on the issue with a view to seeing if any assistance can be offered towards finding a resolution."

Aer Lingus said it has accepted the invitation but warned customers to continue to check with the airline as a further 14 flights were cancelled on Thursday to European destinations including Brussels, Paris and Birmingham. A spokeswoman warned a further 12 could be hit on Friday.

Impact welcomed the invitation and said it is ready to engage.

Joe Costello, Labour Party transport spokesman, said the dispute can only be settled by talks.

"It is not too late to step back from the brink," he said. "Every effort must be made in good faith by both sides to resolve the dispute."

Green Party TD for Dublin North Trevor Sargent, who met with Transport Minister Pat Carey, said he hopes high level talks can solve the dispute. "If both sides can agree to arbitration a solution should be found for the sake of the company, its staff and the flying public," he said.

Labour Affairs Minister Dara Calleary encouraged both sides in the dispute to find a way forward.

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