Belfast Telegraph

Aer Lingus 'work-to-rule' scrapped

Aer Lingus cabin crew have called off a planned work-to-rule over new rosters after an industrial relations troubleshooter stepped in.

The airline was facing the unrest - but no threat to flight schedules - a day after announcing 19 million euro (£15.5 million) losses for the first half of the year.

The Impact trade union said it would give staff time to digest the recommendations.

"It would be unreasonable to press ahead with industrial action while this happens and Impact is, therefore, suspending its planned work-to-rule to allow detailed consideration of the arbitration finding," a spokesman said.

Kieran Mulvey, chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), issued a 39-page document aimed at ending the dispute over new working times.

The LRC recommended revising existing agreements in order to meet the objective of 850 flying hours a year as part of cabin crews' overall working time.

Earlier, the airline vowed to break even this year after enjoying a dramatic fall in financial losses.

The company wants new rosters for cabin crew as part of a much wider 97 million euro (£79 million) cost-cutting programme.

Its losses for the first half of this year were an 80% fall on the losses suffered in the same period last year.

Aer Lingus carried 4.4 million passengers in the first half of the year, half a million fewer than the same time last year, but managed to reduce losses by 80% from 93 million euro (£75.9 million) in January to June 2009 to 19 million euro (£15.5 million) this year.

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