SIPTU representatives have described as unacceptable a decision by Aer Lingus to withdraw proposals aimed at averting pay reductions and job losses. SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin said: Aer Lingus management has confirmed that the pay reductions and layoff previously notified to us will now commence from 21st June. We believe that this is an unacceptable move on the part of Aer Lingus and that more time should have been given to the Unions to process any proposed documents in the normal way. This move to cut pay/hours further and lay people off is even more unacceptable in light of the information we have received in respect of the pilots. It has come to our attention that, after the deadline had passed, pilots have been given a further number of weeks to consult their members and to conduct a ballot. “The company had been very clear with the Congress Group of Unions that the timeline we were working to would not provide for the traditional amounts of time usually taken when dealing with such matters. It now appears that this time line was arbitrary and artificial given that the pilots are being treated much more fairly than the grades represented by the Congress Group of Unions. Consequently we are now writing to the company to demand that it cease its immediate course of action and that, at a minimum, holds pay levels at the current rate and not effect any layoffs. “We are also demanding equal treatment for all Aer Lingus members, regardless of their grade. If a further period of weeks can be provided for pilots then it can be provided for the Congress Unions to renegotiate the withdrawn proposals into a more acceptable document that allows time for consultation and a ballot without the imposition of arbitrary or artificial timelines. Any consultation and ballot on a renegotiated proposal will have to take place in line with public health guidelines but we now believe, in light of the above new information on the more favourable treatment of the pilot grades, that adequate time can be allocated for this.”