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New rosters in place following cabin crew survey, Aer Lingus insists

Published 15/04/2016

Aer Lingus said revised shifts had since been agreed with cabin crew and unions
Aer Lingus said revised shifts had since been agreed with cabin crew and unions

Aer Lingus has said new rosters are in place after cabin crew reported only getting the minimum 12 hours rest between shifts in a one-month rota.

A survey of cabin crew in July 2014, weeks after staff went on strike in a bitter row over shift patterns, found almost half of attendants went to work when they were sick.

It also revealed almost 40% of those who worked while ill did not want to take time off for fear of disciplinary action and the same amount were asked to see a company doctor.

Aer Lingus insisted that since the survey was completed, revised shifts had been agreed with cabin crew and unions and there were strict limits on how much time staff could be in the air, the same as pilots, about 18 hours a week.

The company questioned the timing of the survey being published, almost two years on from the industrial relations dispute.

"Aer Lingus and all other airlines operate in one of the most highly regulated industries in the world and give particular care and attention to ensure the health and well-being of our employees," it said.

"As a result, Aer Lingus has well-established processes and procedures which address health and well-being issues

"The structures and processes to ensure the health and well-being of our employees sit outside of the normal industrial relations frameworks within the company."

Aer Lingus said it complied with national, European and international codes and standards for flying times for cabin crew.

"The authors of the report commissioned by the Impact trade union have not consulted nor sought any input from Aer Lingus in the compiling of their document," the airline said.

Impact's Health and Well-being survey mimics research done among the airline's cabin crew in 1995.

It asked 1,040 union members for their views of working a 28 day roster in July 2014 and 470 people responded.

Some other findings included that more than a third reported that they took sleep medication once a week, or more often and 80% of respondents reported missing a meal while working.

Impact assistant general secretary Michael Landers said: "Overall, levels of satisfaction with the roster system were low, and remain a very significant problem for cabin crew staff."

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