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Aer Lingus suspends pilots & ops (merged)

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Aer Lingus suspends pilots & ops (merged)

Old 1st Jun 2002, 10:29
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Chimbu, we are getting our message out where it matters most- in the Irish media. Today the 7 suspensions have been lifted and negotiations are beginning.

The brinkmanship at the heart of management strategy is now exposed. The suspensions are lifted, threat of strike action is lifted, talks are starting. The lockout continues.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 12:07
  #142 (permalink)  
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Don’t let management divide and rule

True to form, Aer Lingus management is trying to create divisions between pilots and other Aer Lingus staff.

Myth no.1

The company says pilots have refused to make sacrifices to ensure the company’s survival. They have not:

Pilots have accepted a pay freeze – by agreeing to the postponement of an independent pay review last year, they have already saved the company over €12m over and above the considerable contribution made by other staff.

Pilots have accepted non-payment of PPF.

Pilots have accepted non-payment of increments.

Pilots have accepted cuts in leave.

Pilots have accepted reduced staffing including redundancies.

Pilots have told Aer Lingus they are available for talks on other changes – but the company refuses to talk.

Myth no.2

The company says pilots are jepordising the airline’s future. They are not:

The pilots’ strike was only triggered after pilots were suspended without pay for following a union instruction, which was based on a 99% vote of staff (even senior management get paid during suspension).

Since then, they have refused to discuss the issue with pilots or their union.

The company is threatening a LOCKOUT, which will indeed jepardise the company’s future and everybody’s jobs.

Management seems determined on confrontation instead of negotiation. And if they beat the pilots they will surely go after other staff.

Myth no.3

The company says all proposed changes to pilots’ working practices are necessary to the company’s survival. They are not:

The company is proposing the very minimum terms of employment, including flight rosters based on legal minimum standards alone.

The company have often insisted that changes were necessary and then relented when unions proved them wrong. The U-turn on compulsory redundancy is an example.

Pilots have said they are prepared to talk about necessary changes but not draconian measures that are unacceptable, unsafe and unnecessary to the company’s survival.

Myth no. 4

The company says the Labour Relations Commission report on work practice is binding. It is not:

In the LRC talks, the management and union sides both said the report could not be binding.

The LRC report does not say it is binding.

Aer Lingus have rejected many LRC findings in the past.

Pilots are doing their bit the secure the airline’s future. But like other groups of staff they are not prepared to accept draconian measures that are not needed to secure the ongoing survival and success of Aer Lingus. Neither can we accept the imposition of changes to existing agreements without agreement. No group of airline staff would accept that.

Experience has taught Aer Lingus staff to treat management’s claims with suspicion. If they get away with imposing changed work practices on pilots, they will immediately do the same to you. If they get away with this, nobody’s contracts of employment will be worth the paper they are written on.

Pilots supported other staff groups when they were on dispute last year. We hope you will do the same for us. Don’t let management divide and rule.

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Old 1st Jun 2002, 12:36
  #143 (permalink)  
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Most excellent post INLAK!

I am sure that most of my (non-management) colleagues in BA thoroughly support the Aer Lingus pilots.

We all know that there is a creeping cancer within the senior management of the OneWorld Alliance and we will be the next victims if you do not prevail in your current dispute.

Be assured that I will do all I can to fulfill IFALPAs "request for mutual assistance". Oh dear... I've just put my back out lifting my heavy briefcase into the flight deck!
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 12:59
  #144 (permalink)  
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One world is clearly attacking the pilot community. Aer Lingus wants the battle. My full support and best wishes to all AL guys and girls. Sadly the media battle does not appear to be going well. I hipe BALPA is watching this one closely

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Old 1st Jun 2002, 13:34
  #145 (permalink)  
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It would appear to the naieve - such as I - that whomever decided to shut down the Aer lingus operation must be leaving himself open to damages claims by affected customers.

The pilots WANT to work, the rest of the airline ARE working (or are available), however Aer Lingus aircraft have been grounded on the whim of some "higher authority".

The culprit needs to be identified and given plenty of public exposure (B & W photos printed on A4 are fine!) for the UNNECESSARY inconvenience and expense incurred on Aer Lingus' loyal customers.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 15:33
  #146 (permalink)  
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Unhappy More trouble for Aer Lingus

Seems a class action suit against Aer Lingus is in the process of being put together.

Heres the link:


Can't be good.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 15:53
  #147 (permalink)  
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Interesting...suddenly it's "Aer Lingus' (one or two) management" versus "The World".

One would have thought their mentors might have been a little smarter - and less rash - with tactics that punish the PUBLIC rather than those terrible unionised pilots.

In reality, I guess management (the one or two, making the decsions for the other 30 or 40) will try to duckshove the responsibility onto their "advisors" - who are, in fact, lawyers!!

And therein lies another story.

Meanwhile poor ol' Aer Lingus (and their paying customers) suffer!!!!

Time to show some DIRECTION, BERTIE!!
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 17:56
  #148 (permalink)  
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So when you lot sink AL and are seeking other employment, will you tell the managers at interview how it should be done, put your money where your mouth is and 'manage' your own airline, or tug your forelock and politely request a job? The latter no doubt.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 17:57
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legolas quoted me thus:

"is it bad PR [for companies] to talk about union breaking or something?"


friend with all due respect, and a little sarcasm, you are kidding aren't you???

I apparently did not make myself clear. I was wondering whether it was bad PR for IMPACT / IALPA, not the comapany (obviously ), to point out what AL, as part of the One World Alliance are really up to - union busting as opposed to 'airline saving'.

I (a joe public in this issue) sympathise completely with the pilots view on the safety grounds alone but you guys are being hammered in the media who have generally appeared to have been following the airline management's agenda (the constantly repeated "pilots not co-operating with the airline's survival plan" line referred to by other posters is just one example) and are generally ignorant of the most basic of facts - the one time I did hear an interviewee mention "One World Alliance", the news reporter didn't know what he was talking about, by her follow-up question, obviously assumed that "One World" was some sort of international trade union forum. This actually happened! In another interview, a rep from the Irish Chambers of Commerce was allowed to dismiss "the safety issue" in his first sentence as "a red herring" without challenge. This is what you are up against and, to be honest, I don't think you are making a good job of fighting it.

One line that the union has trotted out about the 10hr min time-off is the effect it would have on family life - I've heard the "home late, up early, don't see the kids" storey a couple of times and, to be perfectly frank, I don't think that's going to win many hearts in a country where so many couples/families have both partners working and/or are commuting several hours a day. They'll sympathise but say 'Tough! Join the club!'.

What I haven't heard is a forcefully put safety angle along the lines of what happens six months down the line when Joe Pilot is confronted with a single-engine landing in a crosswind on five hours sleep. Or perhaps publish a list of fatal accidents where pilot fatigue was found to be a major contributer? Scare tactics? Over the top? Bad taste? Maybe, but if the other side is playing dirty pool...

If you want the public on your side (and public opinion WILL play a part in this), you'll have to push the line that you are doing this in their interest and not for your own greed, which is what most people are taking, rightly or wrongly, from the current press coverage. You also have to make your case that AL are taking their course of action for reasons other than 'surviving', as has been asserted on these forums.

In short, get your PR sorted if you want to win.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 19:05
  #150 (permalink)  
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Absolutely right cormacshaw.
You guys need to sort the PR battle sharpish. Fighting the "lifestyle battle" will garner little support on this Celtic Tiger era.
Fight the battle on safety grounds alone and you're on a winner. Get the message across to the public that its their safety and their safety alone that is the issue and you've won the hearts and minds battle.
You need some media-friendly senior captain type as your spokesman to hammer home this message, and only this message, at every opportunity. Shouldn't be too difficult to find someone to do this.
However, absolutely what you do not need is some guy, as on RTE Radio 1 a couple of days ago, going on about "my union" and his lifestyle over and over. Totally counter productive.
The public need an education as to what this is really all about. Only yesterday I was talking to someone who thought that the 10 hour rest was after every sector!!! So do more ads like appeared the other day in the papers, hammer the safety point, drop everything else and you'll win the battle.

Good luck!
Old 1st Jun 2002, 19:45
  #151 (permalink)  
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STC - I work for BA and I feel sick about what is going on. As usual there is silence from BALPA. Hopefully a new GS will take a more active leadership role. Anyone who couldn't see that alliances, franchises and codesharing, etc... would lead to strike busting needs shooting.

Sadly, there are a few pilots in every company who can only see as far as their next pay cheque and, unfortunately, BA (partly as a result of its cadet scheme) has more than its share of pro-company drones. I suppose if you've only ever had one job since school you can't be expected to know much about the real world.
Still, most of us at BA support our friends across the Irish Sea and we're well aware that we will be next.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 19:47
  #152 (permalink)  
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Hand Solo,

when I posted my point about the 747 being used LGW -DUB I was not aware at the time that it was crewed by management pilots. I certainly did not mean to cause you offense but many UK based pilots went to Australia in 1989 and scabbed. Many of these were BALPA members, and pleaded UK secondary picketing legislation as a defence.

The point I'm making is that by strike breaking you will be seen as legitimate targets when you face your row, and after Aer Lingus is finished it looks like BA are next on the list.

Pilot sickness on the basis of operating under duress on such an occasions would appear to be legitimate grounds for non operation.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 20:48
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Whats happens if the airline does not start up again. Will your one world 'brothers and sisters' stand up and pay your mortgage, put food on the table etc.? Im not defending management but in the present climate of the whole airline business, what is the point of striking when most are happy to have any sort of flying career?
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 20:49
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Why nothing from BALPA? Why no storied in the press about pilot fatigue and the new rostering system intended for our Are Lingus colleagues? Any strike battle is clearly won and lost in the press yet I hear nothing in defence of the AL pilots. If it hasn't already happened, AL will seek to blame the collapse of the company on the pilots. The fact that they have three times the employees of Ryanair and carry one third of the pax will not be mentioned. It's all about PR and what do we hear from our representative organisation.......er....NOTHING. Oneworld is on the warpath. We should be getting max info in the press about any isue that undermines management claims to be putting safety first rather than money.

I for one will not operate in such a way as to undermine those in AL. I hope others will act likewise. Good luck to all those at AL.


P.S. Hotwings, While not wanting to divert the thread I must take exception to your remarks re: cadets...they have been most let down in our community in recent deals so I can sympathise if they feel somewhat antagonistic toward BALPA. Frankly I've heard plenty of very experienced folk from all sorts of backgrounds think only of their personal circumstances. Where do you think the mnagement that flew the 747 came from?
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 22:21
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Diesel said "why nothing from BALPA?".
I agree,,,,
I recall the Lufthansa union were pretty accomplished at issuing supporting PR material during their dispute last year.
Why don't the AL pilots have similar documents and information issued?
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 23:04
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Hot Wings - Given that most recent BA cadets have trained alongside AL cadets at various schools, and as such have many AL pilots as friends, it's highly unlikely that any of them would be fit to operate any 'controversial' service to Ireland at this time. Perhaps you should reserve your ire for the more senior types concerned only about their mortgages.

Incidentally, these days many BA cadets are on a career change from another profession, just like their AL colleagues, and so perhaps are more acutely aware of their personal worth in the modern market, unlike some of the crusty old dyed-in-the-wool BA types.
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 23:23
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I also whole heartedly agree, Oneworld pilots lets pressure our member associations to issue some PR!!! This fight, being so bravely fought by our Irish friends, has to be supported now!!

Get on the phones, pilots of all airlines!!

Let's start talking with a louder voice about how safety standards are being eroded by longer and longer duty times! How many of us view these threads everyday! write to your local, and national newspapers. Call your representatives, congressmen, make them work for a change! Take action now. The flying public has the right to know just what the issue is here, and how much is really at stake.

Aer Lingus managment has orchestrated a full scale lock out of our AL collegues who's only fault is to try to keep safety standards at there company from being compramised. Remember when fatigue leads to a hull loss, it is never a company that is faulted, no. Pilot error is always blamed, a corporate white wash that always seeks to pin the blame on us, at the pointy end.

Enough is enough, sadly the tragic events of 9/11 have been used as an excuse by corporate interests to hammer us into submission. The sad irony is that in light of this horrible event, true airline safety is being victimized! The media and mass public still have not realized this because, we as the those who risk our necks on the line day in and day out have not been vocal enough to say "this is what we need to make our sky's safe".

So instead of responding to this post, use anonimaty if you have to, but talk to your organization rep, e-mail a paper or a congressman, and lets get the word out.

Good Luck Aer Lingus Pilots!! All of our support is behind you!!
(and good job without Keane against Cameroon!!!)
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Old 1st Jun 2002, 23:26
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Just to let you know a BA 737 operated into Cork today from LGW. ORK-LHR is a EI/BA code share. City Flyer, now a part of BA pulled out of LGW-ORK last Sept/Oct.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 05:56
  #159 (permalink)  
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At last, Aer Lingus management have been able to achieve that which other airline managers and H.R. departments have dared only ever DREAM of - an airline WITHOUT pilots

Now watch the profits soar!!

My guess is they'll come out of their huddle sometime next week and announce a "watershed" in Aer Lingus' history, with a new, trimmed down airline - initially in pilot strength, but later in ALL other areas - ready to re-launch.
It's a gamble they're going to play, and if they can't get enough pilots to get the operation up fairly quickly using Aer Lingus aircraft, they will have shot themselves in the foot.

Time to start thinking about stress induced leave methinks.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 10:20
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Can someone explain just what it is about pilots that make the management of every airline in the world dislike them and try to "break" them?

Why is it that the management has always been, is always, and always will be " in the wrong"?

Are we missing something vital here?
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