Workers at Waterford Regional Airport have voted to take industrial action over a cut to their working hours.
Trade union Unite said that the airport’s management "decided unilaterally" to cut their hours from 39 to 21 hours per week, and they have also blocked staff from the airport this morning.
The cuts follow the closure of Belgian-based carrier VLM which operated from Waterford to Luton.
Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly said: "The closure of VLM has been a blow not only to Waterford Airport but to the economy of the South-East. Management’s focus now must be on attracting an alternative carrier to service the crucial Waterford-London route, rather than unilaterally slashing workers’ hours.
"Unite members are particularly angry that the cuts only apply to ground staff and firefighters, but seemingly not to management.
"Management has made a bad situation worse by refusing to allow workers onto the airport premises this morning, in a move which our members regard as an effective lock-out.
"We will be announcing what form the industrial action will take tomorrow. Management can resolve this dispute immediately by reversing their unilateral decision to slash workers’ hours and allowing our members back in to work."