IF WORKERS AT Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) proceed with industrial action, it will mean that all aircraft will be grounded at the airport, said SIPTU today.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, SIPTU advisor Dermot O’Loughlin clarified that a strike by DAA workers, which was voted for yesterday, meant that all aircraft would be grounded at the airport, stating that if fire services can not operate at the airport then no aircraft can fly and no activity can take place.
Meanwhile, the ballot result for industrial action by Aer Lingus employees and Shannon Airport Authority staff is expected later this afternoon.
O’Loughlin said this morning that the result for the Aer Lingus ballot should be known by 3pm and the ballot result for Shannon Airport Authority workers should be known by 4pm.
The vote for strike action is part of the long-running dispute over workers’ pension scheme.
The dispute centres on on the deficit within the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme (IASS) which includes Aer Lingus employees as well those in the DAA.
It is believed that there is a pension deficit in their pension scheme of €780 million.
He said the next step is to consult the entire workforce in DAA, such as those that are not in the IASS, stating that it was important that other unions know why they are doing this.
O’Loughlin said that their pension situation is completely different to that at ESB, stating:
These people are facing a worthless pension…
He said a resolution to the issue will only come about if people come around the table for discussions. However, he was critical of the groups involved, stating that he had issued notice to Shannon Airport Authority and Dublin Airport Authority a month ago, stating that this did not need to proceed, but he said “the trustees have done nothing, the regulator has done nothing and companies have done nothing”.
He added that the last time SIPTU met the trustees was last November.
When asked would he welcome intervention by the Labour Relations Commission he said he would, stating that he hoped it doesn’t happen at the twelfth hour, “I hope it happens right away”.
He said that they didn’t want to disrupt anyone’s travel plans in the run up to the Six Nations games or St. Patrick’s Day.
He clarified that there is a LRC recommendation in place since last year, but said “it would appear that it has no validity anymore” adding that the trustees don’t seem to be able to bring about the recommendations.
“It requires a brand new intervention,” he said.