Mixed messages on travel put aviation jobs at risk, says Fórsa
Conflicting signals from the government on plans to reopen international travel endanger thousands of jobs, aviation workers’ representatives warned on Wednesday.
Ashley Connolly, national secretary of the Fórsa union, which represents cabin crew whose jobs are threatened by the closure by Aer Lingus airline of its Shannon base and temporary layoffs in Cork, called on the government to set plans for resume travel.
“The continuing contradictory statements by various ministers must stop, what is needed now is clarity. If we fail to provide the required certainty, the aviation industry may never recover, ”she said.
“We are putting thousands of jobs at risk, employers have the ability to move planes to more open markets to meet demand. Ireland cannot afford to be left behind. “
Ms Connolly told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transportation and Communications Networks that the industry needed a clear government commitment on Friday on how and when travel could resume.
Sara O’Leary, a senior crew member at Cork Airport, where Aer Lingus staff will be laid off from September to November while work continues on the runway, said her colleagues feared for their future.
School and Christmas
“No one has confirmed that it was only for 10 weeks, no one has confirmed what salary we are going to return to,” she said.
Ms O’Leary added that the company was laying off employees at a time when they would face the cost of returning the children to school, when it was close to Christmas when they would be paid after they returned to work. .
Mary Mulholland, her colleague at Shannon Airport, where 83 crew members are among 126 workers facing possible job loss, warned that workers and their families would end up “depending on the state”.
If the decision was not overturned, recovery would come too late for these people and their families, she added. “I will be gone, so I take this opportunity now to ask you to defend me,” Ms. Mulholland told committee members.
Ms Connolly argued that Aer Lingus might not have decided to shut down Shannon if the government had moved faster with aviation aid.
“You have been too slow and as a result Shannon’s cabin crew are at risk of losing their jobs,” she said.
Fórsa calls on the government to continue providing wage subsidies to aviation workers.
“The cabin crew suffered more than 14 months of pay cuts, layoffs, layoffs and job insecurity,” Ms. Connolly said, adding that this had put them and their families under a strain. enormous pressure.
The government is due to announce its intention to reopen international travel on Friday.
This will include a commitment to join the EU-proposed Covid-19 digital passport, intended to restore vacation travel throughout the bloc, including the Republic.
Ms Connolly urged the government to introduce this in early July rather than waiting for the six weeks allowed by the European Commission to implement the plan.
Commission officials confirmed this week that member countries have up to six weeks from July 1 to introduce the certificates, but said ideally states should act as quickly as possible.
Fórsa also wants travel to the United States to reopen quickly, whose residents are subject to the Republic’s draconian hotel quarantine upon arrival here, even though they have been vaccinated.
Ms Connolly also asked the committee ‘what happened to the joint travel area’ with the UK. Last week, government sources reported that the Republic may open a travel corridor with the UK.
Senator Clare Fianna Fáil and committee member Timmy Dooley said he was frustrated with the government’s inaction on travel and disappointed with his own party.
“I am frustrated with the mandatory hotel quarantine and frustrated with the emphasis on non-essential travel,” he added.