1,400 clerical workers and 400 caterers at Aer Lingus have deferred a strike that was due to take place this morning. The clerical staff are due to begin balloting next week on a new pay recommendation from the Labour Court. The catering workers are also expected to receive proposals from the Court today.

The Aer Lingus clerical staff had been due to stage another 24-hour strike today, and that had the potential to ground all of the company's flights once again. However the action was deferred when the Labour Court issued a its recommendation in the long-running pay battle - which union sources were suggesting last night is likely to prove acceptable.

The deal would give all the clerical workers a minimum of £2,100 extra, rising in some cases to £2,600. On top of that the recommendation is understood to do away with the lowest rung of the pay scale, bringing the entry rate now to £12,500 from £9,600.

Some 400 caterers were also due to stage a 24-hour stoppage today, but that too has been deferred, following a request from the Labour Court. The caterers hope today to receive a recommendation from the Court - though it is understood that the expectation is that this could prove less acceptable than in the case of the clerical staff.