Page last updated at 22:00 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Aer Lingus staff vote for strike

Aer Lingus plane
The airline say the cost-cutting is necessary to ensure its viability

Staff at Aer Lingus have voted to take strike action if the airline proceeds with a plan to cut up to 1,500 jobs.

Aer Lingus plans to outsource ground operations, shut bases in Shannon and Heathrow and use US crews on some long-haul routes, in order to save 60m.

SIPTU members voted on Friday by more than 80% to take industrial action up to and including strike action.

Aer Lingus has set a 15 December deadline for staff to accept voluntary severance or early retirement.

SIPTU National Industrial Secretary Gerry McCormack said the union regretted the disruption to the public that would result from the vote at the carrier's Dublin, Cork and Shannon bases.

He added that it would remain open to talks that would resolve the dispute with Aer Lingus management and called on them to avert "mass disruption" by "entering talks with us now".

Mr McCormack said the union would be serving notice of industrial action immediately.

Aer Lingus expressed its disappointment at the result of the trade union ballot.

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