Members of SIPTU employed in Aer Lingus ground operations at Dublin airport have voted to reject a Labour Court recommendation granting the company a pay freeze until December 2024 and a permanent 10% pay cut to roster duty allowances.

The Labour Court recommendation followed the rejection of a Covid-19 recovery document put to SIPTU members by Aer Lingus in September 2021 to reduce costs and change work practices to offset losses incurred due to the pandemic.

SIPTU members voted by a margin of 85% to reject the Labour Court recommendation.

"Like many workers in the Aviation sector, our members in Aer Lingus were severely affected by Covid-19 with many working significantly reduced hours since March 2020 and only returning to 100% of their contracted hours in November 2021," said SIPTU Sector Organiser, Niall Phillips.

"While our members accept that Aer Lingus suffered heavy losses due to the pandemic, our members also suffered very significant reductions in income during the same period."

SIPTU said that the problems faced by its members have been further compounded by rising inflation and that it will seek to meet with senior Aer Lingus management to discuss the latest developments.

Aer Lingus said today that it noted the rejection of the Labour Court recommendation.

"The airline reported operating losses last week of €347m for the year 2021, on top of the €361m losses in 2020. It is in this context that structural change is required at the airline to ensure that it is efficient and competitive going forward," a spokesperson said.

Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton was asked about the issue at last week's results announcement.

"The key thing here is that we need to be cost competitive if we are going to rebuild and invest and we need structural change across our organisation. I'm hopeful we'll get there," she said at the time.