Labour Court calls for 8.75pc pay rise for Aer Lin­gus staff

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Fearghal O’con­nor

AER Lin­gus staff should be given a to­tal pay rise of 8.75pc over 39 months, the Labour Court has rec­om­mended.

The court rec­om­men­da­tion — which the air­line’s man­age­ment will hope will break a stand­off over pay — equates to an av­er­age an­nual pay rise of 2.7pc for many staff.

If agreed, such a deal is likely to cost the air­line just over €20m for the pe­riod. That is less than half of what it would have cost the air­line if an ini­tial de­mand by trade unions for a 19.1pc pay rise over three years had been ac­cepted.

The rec­om­men­da­tion also post­poned any pro­duc­tiv­ity deal for at least three months and long-fin­gered de­mands for a profit-shar­ing scheme that the air­line had feared could drive the cost of an agree­ment to over €100m.

Unions were seek­ing in­creases in pay, the in­tro­duc­tion of profit shar­ing and the restora­tion of lost in­cre­ments af­ter what they de­scribed as “the ex­cep­tional fi­nan­cial per­for­mance of Aer Lin­gus”.

But man­age­ment had lodged a 49-page sub­mis­sion with the court that fo­cused heav­ily on the dif­fi­cult en­vi­ron­ment in which it is claimed Aer Lin­gus is now op­er­at­ing. It par­tic­u­larly high­lighted the com­pet­i­tive pres­sures the air­line now faces on short-haul routes from Ryanair and on transat­lantic routes from Nor­we­gian’s new ser­vices from Dublin, Cork, Shan­non and Belfast.

In its rec­om­men­da­tion, the Labour Court said it noted in par­tic­u­lar that there had not been a ba­sic pay adjustment since 2010 although there had been “a num­ber of lump sum pay­ments”.

The pay rise rec­om­mended by the Labour Court in this case com­pares un­favourably to other re­cent pay rises achieved by unions in the wider trans­port sec­tor. For ex­am­ple, Dublin Bus work­ers were granted a 3.75pc pay rise per year for three years, de­spite that com­pany’s fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.

“Aer Lin­gus con­firms re­ceipt of the Labour Court rec­om­men­da­tion re­lat­ing to the pay claim lodged by Ictu, Siptu, Im­pact, Unite and the TEEU.

“We are re­view­ing the de­tails of the rec­om­men­da­tion and will clar­ify our po­si­tion on the var­i­ous mat­ters con­tained therein in due course,” said a spokesman.

The deal, if agreed, would be paid over 39 months and would cost the air­line more than €20m

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