Aer Lingus workers vote to strike over airline’s job-cuts plan

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Aer Lingus Group Plc workers voted to strike over the airline’s plan to cut more than 1,500 jobs, the Services Industrial Professional Technical Union said.

Around 80 percent of the Dublin-based airline’s workers that voted were in favor of the strike, the union said an e-mailed statement late yesterday.

Aer Lingus plans to cut jobs, hire outside providers for ground operations and halt pay raises until at least the end of 2009 as part of a plan to save 74 million euros ($94.4 million). It says the cuts are necessary as consumer demand wanes.

“I want to stress that we remain open to enter a talks process to resolve this dispute with management,” Gerry McCormack, industrial secretary at the union, said in the statement. “We will now be serving notice of industrial action immediately.”

Aer Lingus, which has given employees until Dec. 15 to accept buyouts, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Aer Lingus rose 6 percent last week, valuing the carrier at 608 million euros. The stock has fallen 45 percent this year.