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Aer Lingus set to meet with pilots as union prepares for weekend strike

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By Eleanor Butler
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The two parties are hoping to resolve a pay dispute that has already led to 270 flight cancellations.


A fresh round of talks between Aer Lingus and the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) is under way to try to break the deadlock in an ongoing pay dispute.

This comes as members of IALPA enter their second day of an indefinite work-to-rule action, which means they are refusing to work overtime.

Aer Lingus said that yesterday's action didn't result in additional cancellations, on top of the 270 flights already called off.

IALPA has also planned an eight-hour strike for Saturday.

A spokesperson for Taoiseach Simon Harris said he welcomed the negotiations planned for Thursday.

Strike "disproportionately" affects travelling public

"The Taoiseach has been clear this dispute is having a disproportionate impact on the travelling public," said the government official.

"All disputes are resolved by compromise and negotiation. The Taoiseach urges both sides to engage in good faith to resolve this dispute."

Managers from IALPA and Aer Lingus attended separate meetings at the Labour Court on Tuesday in an effort to make headway on the pay disagreement.

The court advised both groups that it would not be intervening at the moment but would review the matter in July.

IALPA president Mark Tighe has repeatedly stressed that industrial action will proceed until Aer Lingus changes its position.

Pilots seeking a 23.8% pay rise

"Pilots in the union do not want to be in this situation," Mr Tighe told RTE Radio on Wednesday.

"This is the middle of the summer, any day [of industrial action] is going to have a significant impact."

"What you see here is the direct result of management actions and their refusal to acknowledge that they should have been dealing with inflation as they went along."

Pilots are seeking a 23.8% pay increase, a motion branded as "unsustainable" by the airline.

IALPA has nonetheless stressed that their proposal is reasonable given the effect of rising prices on pay packets, along with the large profits made by Aer Lingus.

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