15 March 2007 Edition
Aer Lingus : profits prove airline was asset to state
Management must not be allowed trample on rights of Aer Lingus workers
Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has said that the 2006 pre-tax and operating profit figures for Aer Lingus, announced this week, “vindicated the view that Aer Lingus operated as a state asset and not a liability, and the decision by this Government to sell our former national airline was a political decision and not an economic one”.
The Dublin South West TD went on: “Pre-tax profits of €90.5 million were achieved last year, with an operating profit of €76 million. These figures are ahead of what market analysts predicted and are a tribute to the hard graft of Aer Lingus employees. In a year of turbulence in the airline industry, with rising fuel prices and security threats in England, the performance of our former national airline was very strong.
“It is disturbing however that a substantial €16 million was paid to advisors to assist in preventing a hostile takeover bid from Ryanair – the same advisors who told the Government to price shares at a low €2.20 which facilitated the hostile takeover bid in the first place.
“Sinn Féin supports SIPTU and the workers they represent in relation to standing up to Dermot Mannion and Aer Lingus management, who have recently attempted to erode workers’ rights with unilateral decisions with no trade union consultation whatsoever. Any future agreements must be agreed to fully by Aer Lingus employees, and the management must adhere to agreed protocols instead of acting unilaterally, reneging on commitments before the ink on new agreements and contracts has even dried. Aer Lingus management must not be allowed to use the pretext of competing in a highly competitive market to trample on workers’ rights.”