Aer Lingus pilots launch work-to-rule actions, tossing travel plans of passengers into disarray

LONDON (AP) — Aer Lingus pilots said they would resume talks with the Irish airline after they launched an industrial action Wednesday that led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights and tossed the travel plans of tens of thousands into disarray.

The pilots imposed ‘’work to rule’’ actions, refusing to work overtime, accepting changes in set rosters or taking out-of-hours management requests.

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association said it would resume talks Thursday with Aer Lingus as the labor action continues.

An eight-hour strike is planned on Saturday.

The flag carrier of Ireland and its pilots have been locked in a bitter dispute over pay, with pilots seeking a pay increase of 24% to keep pace with inflation since their last pay raise in 2019. Aer Lingus has said it is willing to offer pay increases of 12.5% or more if “productivity and flexibility” are discussed.

Ireland’s prime minister, Simon Harris, said it is “absolutely vital” that a resolution is found.

“My challenge to the parties now is to bring that engagement forward, rather than putting people through a prolonged period of agony and chaos, and then engaging in the end anyway,” Harris said Tuesday. “This dispute will be settled the same way every dispute is settled: compromise, engagement, sitting around a table. That’s what needs to happen.”

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