FIRE and ambulance crews at Dublin Airport have voted to begin industrial action in two weeks in protest at plans to introduce new rostering.
The action is unlikely to affect the airport too adversely in its initial stages.
However, an escalation would see the facility closed at its busiest time of the year and hundreds of thousands of passengers would be grounded.
According to SIPTU, which represents the 200 members of the airport and police service, there has for some time been an average of 20% less people rostered to work than is agreed in the company and union’s 2001 registered employment agreement.
That has meant that staff have had to work large amounts of overtime to cover the shortfall in numbers, SIPTU said.
“For example, on Friday there were only five police officers rostered to work. There should have been 13,” said Dermot O’Loughlin of SIPTU.
In addition, the union claims that instead of trying to up the numbers of staff as it has requested on numerous occasions, the DAA is instead trying to re-organise rostering in breach of the agreement.
The DAA said it had sought to create appropriate structures at Dublin Airport in response to the increasing range of security requirements it must implement and growing passenger numbers at the airport.
“This resulted in the creation of over 20 new promotional positions within the Airport Police and the Airport Passenger Security units at Dublin Airport,” said a spokesman.
“When SIPTU opposed the creation of these new promotional positions earlier this year, the matter was referred to the Labour Relations Commission.
“In a recommendation of last March, agreed by both the DAA and SIPTU, the LRC recommended that the new positions should be boarded and filled, and that if any further issues were to emerge from this process, they should be referred back to the LRC.”
The DAA said it had since appointed people to the new positions, all of whom are members of either the airport police or airport passenger security units and the new arrangements were due to commence next week.
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