Job fears at aircraft engine maintenance plant

Fears were growing tonight over the future of hundreds of jobs after workers at an aircraft engine maintenance company rejected the firm’s cost-cutting plan.

Union members at Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland voted against proposals on flexibility and work practice changes which management claim are vital for the survival of the plant.

Around 470 people work at the facility at Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

Siptu branch organiser Teresa Hannick called on Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland to re-enter talks with the unions.

“We warned management during 12 hours of talks at the Labour Relations Commission on Monday that further engagement was necessary if we were to reach an agreement that production workers at the plant would buy into,” said Ms Hannick.

“Management insisted on putting the proposals in their present form to the workforce and the result was rejection. The obvious thing now is to re-engage.”

Earlier this week the firm revealed a planned multi-million US dollar investment at the facility would not go ahead if reforms were not accepted by staff.

But members of SIPTU, the TEEU and Unite maintain the savings plan involves cuts in pay and overtime rates.

Meanwhile, negotiations on 65 redundancies at the boning hall of Dawn Meats in Midleton, Co Cork, broke down at the Labour Relations Commission.

SIPTU, which represents the workers affected, is now seeking to refer the case to the Labour Court.

Branch Organiser Ben Weathers maintained talks failed because the company was not willing to offer a better deal to staff loosing their jobs.

“This was a poor offer at any time, but is especially inadequate in the present climate when alternative employment is almost impossible to get," said Mr Weathers.

Last month the company announced plans to close its boning operation and transfer it to Charleville in north Cork.

Mr Weathers added members did offer to work in Charleville even though it is 40 miles away.

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