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Government is sabotaging Aer Lingus - Adams

27 May, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has accused the Government of sabotaging Aer Lingus and of giving control over a key national strategic asset to a multinational company which will always put profits, its shareholders and board members before the Irish economy

Mr Adams raised the issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil today saying Mr Kenny had withheld important documentation from the Dáil

Gerry Adams said:                      

“The Taoiseach acknowledged today that he has refused to answer Dáil questions on the sell-off of Aer Lingus. What he didn’t admit was that at the same time, you briefed the media and Government TDs about the machinations between your Government and IAG.

“He withheld documentation from the Dáil on this issue. He has dealt with the Dáil in an arrogant and unacceptable way. He did the same thing, infamously, on Irish Water and on IBRC.

“Aer Lingus was public utility, built up over decades by Irish workers, taxpayers and citizens. This is a key strategic asset for this island nation which is both profitable and successful. But Aer Lingus – a symbol of pride and national identity, has been shamefully sabotaged by you and the previous Government. In fact you are finishing Fianna Fáil’s work

“The fundamental issue at stake here is that control over a key national strategic asset is to be handed over, lock stock and barrel to a multinational conglomerate. This company will always put profits and the interests of their shareholders and board members before the interests of the Irish economy, the State or our citizens.

“Any assurances about Aer Lingus from IAG should be given the same value as the 2011 election promises of Fine Gael and the Labour Party. Once Aer Lingus is gone, it’s gone!

“The Taoiseach says he has been given guarantees that there will be no outsourcing of jobs and compulsory redundancies at Aer Lingus. But according to Minister Donohoe, “Mr Kavanagh has also indicated…. that he does not foresee a likelihood of either compulsory redundancies or non-direct employment under IAG ownership.”

“If this is the guarantee, then clearly Mr Kenny should not be sent to the shop for a bottle of milk, never mind negotiate on such a crucial strategic issue.

“It is very clear today that the Labour Party and Government backbenchers have collapsed on this issue. It must be great to lead a Government whose compliance would embarrass any self-respecting sheep.

“The Transport Committee, including Fine Gael and Labour TDs asked for this matter to be brought back to the Committee. The Taoiseach ignored this and they capitulated.

“What of the Aer Lingus workers who have been given no certainty, in relation to compulsory redundancies or outsourcing? What of the widespread concerns about a further erosion of terms and conditions in the inevitable restructuring of the company?

“Since IAG took over the Iberia airline they have cut 4,500 jobs. Trade unions at Aer Lingus envisage 1,200 job losses with this takeover.

“What of the 15,000 deferred pensioners which Government TDs said would be factored into any Aer Lingus sale?

“In stark contrast to Aer Lingus workers and the deferred pensioners, current and former bosses at the airline will benefit by millions of euro from any sell-off.”

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