Irish airline Aer Lingus has been accused of developing a plan to make life difficult for its employees and thus to encourage 1,800 staff to accept voluntary redundancy.
The plan is documented in a confidential Aer Lingus report called "Business Plan - HR (Human Resources) strategy 2004", seen by the Irish Independent newspaper.
A spokeswoman for the airline acknowledged that the document had been drawn up by Aer Lingus, but dismissed it as a "discussion document", although the report contains no suggestion that it is a draft or discussion paper.
Overall there are 12 initiatives referred to in the document as "environmental push factors". The plan includes:
- Suggesting the airline would introduce a 'tacky' uniform for cabin crew
- Tedious training programmes for some pilots
- Deliberately changing shift patterns to make life at the company uncomfortable.
"Those tactics have never been embraced by either the past or present management team,” the Aer Lingus spokeswoman told the Irish Independent.
However, a number of the ideas have already been implemented, the newspaper reports. These include number 10, "no transport", which is a reference to the abolition of the special bus which ferried cabin crew who work unsociable shifts to and from airport car parks.
The Impact union today said that Aer Lingus management did attempt to implement many of the initiatives set out its 12-point plan.
But the union, which represents cabin crew, pilots and others in the company, said it now wanted to work with the company to rebuild a positive working environment based on acceptable management practices.