Aer Lingus workers bearing the brunt of the Government’s failure to secure Shannon Heathrow Service – BREEN

October 8th, 2008 - Pat Breen
Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today that the Aer Lingus workers in Shannon are bearing the brunt of recent cost saving announcements by Aer Lingus following the Government’s failure to intervene to secure the Heathrow Service which transferred to Belfast early this year. Deputy Breen described the news that over 300 Aer Lingus workers at Shannon are to lose their jobs as “a shattering blow for those workers who committed to stay with the Airline and who have given such loyal service over the years to both the airline and the travelling public.” Deputy Breen claims that the latest proposals if implemented in full spell the “beginning of the end of the green uniform at Shannon and the deathknell for transatlantic services to and from the Airport. He is calling on the Government to make the Industrial Relations machinery of the State available and to use their 25% Shareholding in the Company so that all “suggestions and proposals for cost savings can be formulated on an agreed basis and all avenues can be explored.”

It is sad to think that it is the Aer Lingus Staff who have taken care of the travelling public so well over a long number of years and who remained loyal to the Airline and helped to restore it to profitability, many of whom have mortgages, young families and little prospects of finding new employment in a very turbulent time for the Irish economy are now once again the sacrificial lambs.”



“The Green Uniform and the Cead Mile Failte is synonymous with everything that is Irish and the Aer Lingus Staff at Shannon are great ambassadors for Irish Tourism indeed many American tourists chose to travel with the airline for its strong brand name and it’s Irishness. If these proposals are implemented in full then is the beginning of the end of the green uniform which is so familiar to us all at Shannon and further irrevocable damage will be done to the Airline’s brand name”.

“This Government must share in the responsibility for this decision; they have supported Aer Lingus in pursuing a policy of consolidating their business in Dublin and axing profitable routes from Shannon.”

“Last year’s decision to axe the Shannon Heathrow Service was the beginning of the end of Aer Lingus at Shannon and yet the Government just sat idly by and refused to intervene to secure the service.”
“Sadly it the Aer Lingus workers at Shannon who are now bearing the brunt of this Government inaction.”
“Furthermore, with Aer Lingus reducing the number of long-haul aircraft by one from nine to eight I have no doubt that it is the transatlantic services at Shannon that will suffer. This will put further pressures on the business and tourism sectors in this County who are already reeling from the withdrawal of the Heathrow route. 65 US companies, employing 11,000 staff in this Region are dependant on a direct daily US link which we cannot afford to lose.”

“I am calling on the Government to make the Industrial Relations machinery of the state available and use their 25% shareholding in the Company to make sure that all suggestions for cost savings can be formulated on an agreed basis. Every avenue must be explored.”