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Government shows contempt to Aer Lingus workers - Crowe

13 October, 2006


As Minister for Transport Martin Cullen accuses Opposition politicians of 'getting over-excited' about the privatisation of Aer Lingus, Sinn Féin's Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe TD lashed the Minister and his Government for their 'compliance in this botched attempt at privatising Aer Lingus that may well have disastrous consequences for the employees'.

The Dublin South West TD, who has led Sinn Féin's campaign against the privatisation of the airline, said: "While Minister Cullen nervously hops around Europe desperately seeking a way for the Government to save face on this issue, the reality is that back in Dublin over 3,000 Aer Lingus employees fear for their future."

"I have been contacted by employees who have worked for the airline for the past couple of decades, who built this airline into the international success story it was before privatisation, and who now justifiably fear that their livelihoods will be taken away from them by the actions of this incompetent, arrogant and privatisation-obsessed Government.

"In railroading this privatisation through, Fianna Fáil and the PDs refused to address the concerns raised by Sinn Féin and the workers themselves. Minister Cullen has ignored Aer Lingus staff and the travelling public, and has shown them the same contempt as Michael O'Leary has shown for trade unions.

"In the vacuum and uncertainty created by the Government Aer Lingus employees are forced to contemplate using their hard earned pension fund to purchase shares in the airline to prevent a Ryanair takeover, which would prove disastrous. Workers are being forced into a corner where they have to use their retirement money to save their jobs. The fact that Minister Cullen and his Government continue to stand over their decision to sell Aer Lingus workers down the river while hundreds of people could lose their jobs is scandalous.

"Sinn Féin will continue to work with trade unions and will stand in solidarity with these concerned workers."

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