Trade union leaders in Aer Lingus have met IAG Chief Executive  Willie Walsh to discuss his controversial take over bid for the company. 

Aer Lingus declined to comment on the meeting, but unions said they had learned nothing new from the engagement and remain opposed to the sale.  

Earlier, the officers of the Aer Lingus Central Representative Council issued a statement confirming that comments made by CRC secretary Myles Worth, which suggested that employees were in favour of the IAG bid for the airline, represent his personal views.

A number of unions immediately moved to dissociate themselves from Mr Worth's comments, saying they remain seriously concerned about the bid.

The four officers stress that Mr Worth's views do not represent the position of the CRC officers.

They say that the officers' position remains consistent with the views expressed by union representatives at the Dáil Transport Committee on 29 January, when serious concerns about the bid were expressed.

The statement says that Mr Worth expressed his personal views following the leaking to the media of his letter to incoming Aer Lingus Chief Executive Stephen Kavanagh.

The statement concludes by saying that Mr Worth remains a valued member of the Officer Board of the CRC.

Since the IAG bid was mooted before Christmas, unions have voiced serious concerns about it, particularly regarding jobs and connectivity.

However, Mr Worth yesterday told RTÉ's This Week that staff were broadly in favour of the IAG bid spearheaded by former Aer Lingus CEO Willie Walsh.

IMPACT, which represents over 1,700 employees including pilots and cabin crew, has written to Mr Kavanagh saying Mr Worth's comments were not authorised by the union.

IMPACT National Secretary Matt Staunton said: "The union still asserts that this takeover is bad for Aer Lingus staff, threatens their jobs, and the connectivity assurances stated publicly are bad for Ireland."

It is understood that the Irish Airline Pilots' Association has also dissociated itself from Mr Worth's remarks.

SIPTU said it has not yet adopted a position pending clarification of assurances on direct employment and connectivity.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, SIPTU divisional organiser Owen Reidy said it would be premature to come to any decision regarding the sale at the moment.

He said until an interdepartmental report on the proposals is published and unions have an opportunity to engage with IAG, he could not see how anyone could make a fully informed decision on the sale.

Senior trade union leaders met Mr Walsh and Mr Kavanagh this morning to discuss the proposed takeover of the airline.

SIPTU President Jack O'Connor, IMPACT General Secretary Shay Cody and Congress General Secretary David Begg attended the talks.

Sources described the meeting as useful, but said no significant new developments or information had emerged.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Joan Burton has said the Government will wait for comprehensive information and advice on all aspects of the IAG offer before making a decision on the issue. 

She said issues such as transatlantic routes and international slots at other airports would all be looked at by an interdepartmental group that has been set up to take evidence from all quarters to ensure the Government has the best advice available. 

Asked about comments made yesterday by former Cabinet colleague Pat Rabbitte, she said that all Mr Rabbitte was doing was asking questions about what is the best deal for the company and the workforce like everybody else.

Mr Rabbitte backed the proposed sale yesterday, having previously expressed concern on the matter.

He said he had been convinced by IAG that its takeover of the airline would be in the national interest.