Aer Lingus staff face pay cuts

Aer Lingus has asked staff earning more than €35,000 (£32,400) a year to take pay cuts as it unveiled plans to axe almost 700 jobs.

Operational and support areas will suffer the brunt of the job cuts, the airline said.

The call – part of a last-ditch rescue plan – was made as the loss-making airline outlined a cost-cutting drive aimed at saving €97m (£90m) a year by the end of 2011.

The airline has already slashed 100 jobs and has now refused to rule out compulsory redundancies and further staff cuts in the future, according to the Times.

Cutting staff should help Aer Lingus save €74m (£68m) a year, with a further €23m (£21m) worth of savings to come from other areas, such as airport charges, distribution and reduced operating costs.

Trimming its flight schedule and changing working practices should lead to 489 “surplus positions” at the airline, which currently employs 3,900 staff, Aer Lingus said.

The airline also said it planned to transfer all staff into defined contribution pension schemes,

Pinsent Masons pensions partner Jacqui Timmins says HR managers have a key message to get across to staff during the consultation process – a positive message that is often overlooked.
as opposed to the current final salary pension provision, and has embarked on a six-week consultation exercise with unions and other employee representatives.

Christopher Mueller, chief executive officer at Aer Lingus, said: “The outlook in each of our current core markets is poor and, in line with the macroeconomic outlook, we do not expect any near-term recovery.

“Against this backdrop, Aer Lingus cannot continue with an operating base which is structurally uncompetitive when compared to that of its closest peers.”

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