Belfast Telegraph

Aer Lingus cabin crew strike could cost Irish airline €10m

By Brian Hutton

Around 200 flights have been disrupted by an Aer Lingus cabin crew strike at the start of the bank holiday weekend in the Republic.

Workers are staging pickets at the three main airports – Dublin, Cork and Shannon – in an action that has grounded most of the carrier's fleet and could cost up to €10m (£8.1m). Bosses and cabin crew are locked in a dispute over working hours, with trade union Impact complaining that its members are exhausted by rostering arrangements.

Aer Lingus has denounced the industrial action as unwarranted and unnecessary and accused cabin crew of driving customers into the arms of its competitors.

"Aer Lingus cabin crew enjoy some of the most favourable working conditions in Ireland," said a spokesman.

Several hundred striking workers marched yesterday on the airline's HQ at Dublin airport to deliver a letter of protest to Chief Executive Christoph Mueller, who was booed at the rally.

Some cabin crew said the rosters were taking a toll on their family lives and that the action was a last resort. The 24-hour stoppage which started yesterday morning has hit the travel plans of around 30,000 people.

Aer Lingus has brought in outside crew and planes in an attempt to minimise the disruption.

Management and union leaders are expected to meet on Wednesday to try to break the deadlock.

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