Lowry speaks of ‘dark cloud of uncertainty’ for airline workers

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Michael Lowry TD

The Transport Minister has been told that many Tipperary aviation workers are ‘living their lives under a black cloud of uncertainty’.

The description came from Deputy Michael Lowry during a Dáil debate this week on the crisis within the aviation industry.

In particular, the challenges facing the industry overall, Shannon Airport and Aer Lingus came under discussion, with Deputy Lowry asking Minister Shane Ross why the government has not sought to give aviation workers the protections and guarantees that other governments in Europe have.

The Tipperary TD said recent announcements from Aer Lingus regarding cuts to hours and wages as well as prospective job losses have made the workers feel vulnerable.

He called on the government to take into account the unique situations of the many employees in the sector, including those in Co Tipperary, and to provide them with the supports similar to those provided by governments in Europe to their aviation workers.

He was also critical of the company itself. He highlighted the uncertainty that workers are facing despite Aer Lingus achieving an operating profit of over €270 million last year, and having availed of the government’s Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Deputy Lowry further addressed the challenges which are facing Shannon Airport,and how they will have an impact for the surrounding regions.

He told the Minister that while assistance is needed to protect the future of the airlines operating out of Ireland, the airlines should, in turn, play their part in securing the future of the industry as a whole.

He added, that initiatives and funding are needed to protect Shannon Airport’s strategic routes, upon which so many jobs in the region are dependent.