Speaking today after attending SIPTU's celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Aer Lingus, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Seán Crowe appealed to "all Aer Lingus workers and progressive political forces to join in a concerted effort to ensure that our national airline carrier stays in public ownership."
Deputy Crowe said, "Privatisation is a bad deal both for workers and the general public. Many Aer Lingus workers, past and present, have made great sacrifices to ensure that Aer Lingus is in the very healthy and profitable position it is today. As an island nation, a national carrier is imperative considering our strategic interests.
"We don't want any more privatisation debacles such as Eircom. A small few will be the only beneficiaries.
"It is quite hypocritical of the Taoiseach to criticise former Aer Lingus chief executive Willie Walsh for attempting to "steal the assets" of Aer Lingus when his current government will sell the airline for pittance. The proposed privatisation of Aer Lingus will be the true stealing of state assets. The selling off of Aer Lingus would only realise approximately €400 million, which is the price of four wide-bodied jets.
"I would appeal to all Aer Lingus workers and progressive political forces to join in a concerted effort to ensure that our national airline carrier stays in public ownership." ENDS
Note to editor: Sinn Féin have organised a public meeting regarding the privatisation of Aer Lingus in the Carnegie Court Hotel, Swords, Tuesday 23rd May, 7.30pm, all welcome.
Speakers: Seán Crowe, Matt McCormick (Sinn Féin), Mick Halpenny (SIPTU).