Aer Lingus announced plans to make job and pay cuts, and expand its operations in the UK, as part of its survival plan to cut EUR97 million in operating costs by 2011, to "compete more effectively against a peer group with significantly lower operating costs" (Associated Press/Times Online/RTE News, 07-Oct-09). Details of the cuts include:
- Job cuts: Plans to cut 676 jobs, with the majority of cuts to come from operational and support positions, with a further 187 redundancies to come from IT operations;
- Pay cuts: Cuts will apply to staff earning over EUR35,000 p/a, while the carrier refused to rule out the possibility of compulsory redundancies;
- Pensions: Staff pensions will be transferred into defined contribution pension schemes. Staff were previously provided “final salary” pensions.
Aer Lingus will now enter into six weeks of consultations with staff and unions. Unions have warned they will resist the job cut plans, stating staff have already suffered too many cuts.
Aer Lingus: "Aer Lingus cannot survive in a situation where staff are paid significantly more and operate less efficiently than comparable positions at its peers. Aer Lingus must rationalise work practices — in the air, on the ground and in support staff areas — to introduce best practice processes and procedures, and at least match its competitors in terms of productivity. Aer Lingus' operational flexibility cannot continue to be held back by restrictive practices that date from the past," Board of Directors statement. Source: Associated Press, 07-Oct-09.