Shannon Airport lay-offs leave staff ‘flabbergasted’

A senior Siptu official yesterday told management at Shannon Airport that his members are “flabbergasted” that it is seeking voluntary redundancies.

Shannon Airport lay-offs leave staff ‘flabbergasted’

Tony Carroll was speaking following a meeting with airport management where they formally informed Siptu that a voluntary redundancy scheme would be put in place.

Accompanied by 10 Siptu shop stewards, who represent some 220 members at the airport, Mr Carroll said: “I told management that Siptu is disappointed at the notion of any redundancies at the airport. Members have told me that they are flabbergasted that management is seeking redundancies and I told management that at the meeting.”

Mr Carroll said that, over the course of a two-hour meeting, the management team, led by chief executive Neil Pakey, made a presentation on the business plan for the airport. “We were told of projections of increases in passenger traffic and that the business wasn’t in trouble and that was a relief to hear,” he said.

Mr Carroll said management told him they were putting the voluntary redundancy scheme in place after receiving representations from individual workers that they would be interested in exiting if such a scheme was put in place.

He said: “None of the staff that I have spoken to over the last two weeks since these rumours were going around have expressed a preference for a voluntary redundancy programme. I told management that they are overstating the demand for such a scheme.”

Mr Carroll said management will apply for approval from the Department of Transport for the scheme, adding that “the ball is in management’s court now”.

The current job levels of about 280 at Shannon are based on traffic levels of 4m passengers a year. Shannon recorded passenger numbers of 1.7m last year.

Local Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley said the plan was bizarre, “after assurances were given that there would be no redundancies, but instead that there would be job increases”.

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