Irish Union Votes to Take Action against Aer Lingus

Members of Ireland's largest labor union voted Monday in favor of industrial action at the country's Aer Lingus airline in a row over vacations and overtime pay.

The Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union - whose members include 1,800 Aer Lingus cabin crew, baggage handlers, cleaners and caterers - said the action could include an all-out strike.

Members are unhappy at terms and conditions which the airline - privatized by the Irish government in September - intends to impose on all workers, reducing holiday time and overtime pay.

Michael Halpenny, the union's national industrial secretary, said the vote in favor had been overwhelming. "Our members are left with no option but to take the course that they have," he said.

The union said it had not yet agreed on dates for the industrial actions, or what form the action would take. But options to be considered are "up to and including all-out strike," spokeswoman Barbara Kelly said.

SIPTU workers staff aircraft and ground operations at airports in Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

Aer Lingus claims that, following privatization, it must cut costs to remain competitive.

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