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Irish air not smiling

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By David Stewart White

Irish airline Aer Lingus faces possible labor unrest after a vote by its cabin crew union. A May 9, 2014 statement by the IMPACT union claims 97 percent of its cabin crew membership voted for job actions, including strikes, if agreement is not reached on several fronts.

The union charges the airline with using erratic crew scheduling that causes its members "extreme fatigue, necessitating medical attention." The union wants cabin crew schedules similar to those of the airline's pilots, with 5 work days followed by 3 rest days.

Schedules are not the only grievance facing Aer Lingus. IMPACT union cabin crew members also voted overwhelmingly to take action in an ongoing pension dispute with the airline.

IMPACT represents about 1,100 Aer Lingus cabin crew members. The airline primarily serves Ireland and Europe, as well as flying routes to several North American cities.

No possible dates have been announced for labor action in advance of the normally busy summer travel season.

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