AER LINGUS Catering workers staged a number of protest activities, at the Aer Lingus Head Office Building in the course of April. The protests were held to vent opposition to the announcement by Chief Executive Willie Walsh that he intends to hold discussions with private companies who are interested in buying that section of the airline.

SIPTU shop-steward in the Aer Lingus Catering Department, Clare Daly said, "We have a workforce of 300, with a combined total of 3341 years loyal service to the airline. Willie Walsh should take note- we have no intention of sitting back and allowing our jobs and conditions be put up for sale. With our colleagues in other Departments we have demonstrated the economic viability of the airline, with all its component parts. The only purpose to the sale of catering is to initiate the break-up of the airline, to prepare it for a total sell-off. This is a theft of the workforce and the taxpayer, and we will resist it every step of the way."

"Staff are outraged that Willie Walsh could see fit to address the PD conference to discuss the future of the airline with those who are the self-professed enemies of the semi-state sector, yet he had failed to even respond to our request for a meeting to discuss the issues. No guessing about whose interests he is advancing, certainly not those of the workforce. We are taking this issue to the doorstep of every Board member and every politician in Dublin, particularly from the government parties. Outsourcing means the inevitable destruction of jobs & conditions - we have given too much to this company to allow this to happen. We have had countless offers of redundancy, those of who chose to stay with Aer Lingus are here to stay."

" If Willie Walsh continues to pursue this agenda, backed up by the government, then inevitably industrial action will follow, and the now routine disruption to the travelling public. We will not limit our campaign to the airport, but will link up with our colleagues in Dublin Bus and the rest of the semi-state sector."

From Socialist Voice, paper of the Socialist Party, CWI in Ireland

Committee for a workers' International publications

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