Aer Lingus pilots said to shy away from strike

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Pilots at Aer Lingus are reportedly not intending to strike despite the collapse of talks between the carrier and its cockpit union.

The Irish Airline Pilots' Association's president, Evan Cullen, expects the carrier to shed 130 of its 470 pilots under a restructuring programme.

But he told the Irish Independent that a strike would not be in the airline's or employees' interests.

Aer Lingus has been engaged in negotiations with personnel as it seeks to save nearly €100 million ($147 million).

But the carrier failed to reach agreement in talks at the end of November, and largely blamed pilots for the lack of progress.

Cullen subsequently rejected Aer Lingus' claims, insisting that the pilots' association had offered €35 million in annual savings through measures including a 10% pay cut, voluntary redundancies and increased long-haul productivity.

He also accused Aer Lingus' management of trying to negotiate "permanent pay cuts for us and temporary pay cuts for themselves".

Talks had continued until 8 December but these have broken down without a deal.