Message to the US: Stop taking Irish jobs!

A complaint of US workers: “Supposedly American companies lay off American workers and hire cheap labor in Mexico (or China or India).”

A complaint of Irish workers: “Supposedly Irish companies leave Irish workers to redundancies and hire cheap labour in the US.”

The Irish government, business groups, and labour unions spent the summer negotiating a new National Pay Agreement — a kind of super-contract for Irish workers. The negotiations were rough for a while, and labour news became important to the Irish papers. I noticed an interesting tidbit in two articles last week:

Trade unions are dismissing reports that Aer Lingus plans to use American crew members on its flights to and from the US. The airline is reportedly planning to recruit American crew members who would fly over and back to Ireland during a single shift. This would eliminate the need for Aer Lingus to put its Irish crew members up in hotel rooms overnight.

The IMPACT trade union insists the move would be illegal under health and safety legislation. Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary and Aer Lingus board member David Begg has said the revelation could effect [sic] the talks. ‘Quite clearly it will be raised since it is such a major employer but the veracity of it will be another matter,’ he said.

This should be interesting — anyone want to take bets on how many times Bugle staff will have their flights cancelled?

By the way, the new national pay agreement was settled last week. The Bugle Staff might be able to figure out just what that means before the ratification process is finished in four to six weeks.