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Aer Lingus pilots plan to strike work over pay dispute

Robert Besser
20 Jun 2024

DUBLIN, Ireland: Pilots at Aer Lingus have overwhelmingly voted for strike action in a dispute over pay, with 99 percent in favor.

The ballot, conducted by the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (IALPA), saw an 89 percent turnout among its members, who represent hundreds of pilots at the airline.

The decision to strike follows a paper ballot held over the weekend after Aer Lingus raised concerns about the integrity of an initial electronic vote. IALPA president Captain Mark Tighe described the result of the second ballot as "an incredible reaffirmation of our mandate for industrial action in pursuit of a meaningful pay offer."

Tighe criticized Aer Lingus management for attempting to undermine the pilots' right to vote for industrial action. "It is unconscionable that an employer would attempt to undermine our members' democratic and constitutional right to vote for industrial action," he said. "The effect of Aer Lingus management's intervention last week has served only to further antagonize pilots. They are now more determined than ever."

Voting took place at various polling stations over the weekend, and after the votes were counted on June 17, it was confirmed that 99 percent of pilots voted in favor of taking industrial action.

Captain Tighe emphasized the importance of the pay claim, stating, "Our pay claim of 23.8 percent is to ensure that pilots' pay has the same purchasing power as it did in 2019 and reflects the enormous increase in profits enjoyed by Aer Lingus. Last year, they reported a 225 euro million profit an increase of 400 percent on the previous year. Our colleagues in British Airways secured a 24 percent increase in 2019, while Lufthansa pilots received a 27 percent increase."

IALPA maintains that the concerns raised by Aer Lingus regarding the electronic ballot were unfounded, citing the union rule book's provision for electronic voting. Captain Tighe added, "IALPA is now consulting with our colleagues in Forsa to determine our next steps."

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