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Willie Walsh's Aer Lingus smash and grab economic strategy alarming

26 July, 2004

Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Transport, Séan Crowe TD, has expressed alarm at the reports that Aer Lingus chief, Willie Walsh, will seek to reduce the airlines workforce by up to a quarter at a board meeting today. He said it appeared that Mr. Walsh was bent on adopting a smash and grab economic strategy in which Aer Lingus staff and the Irish nation would be the victims.

Deputy Crowe said:

"News that Aer Lingus‚ Chief Executive Willie Walsh plans to put forward proposals which would result in the loss of almost a quarter of the airlines workforce is very alarming.

"It is difficult not to link Mr. Walsh‚s recent proposals to take over the profit-making and successful airline with this latest leaked business plan. However, the personal ambitions of Willie Walsh and his friends must not be allowed to dictate the future of this valuable state asset.

"This business plan appears to amount to nothing more than a smash and grab economic strategy in which staff and ultimately the Irish nation will be the victims and biggest losers.

"Sinn Féin is opposed to any attempts by individuals or groups to line their pockets and enrich themselves on the back of valuable state owned companies and the workforces who made them what they are."ENDS

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