AIRCRAFT maintenance firm Lufthansa Technik Airmotive has threatened it will shut down operations in Dublin with the loss of 465 jobs unless unions agree to new work practices.
The company said it had put a planned $40 million (€30m) investment in its Dublin operation on hold and would not reactivate it if unions rejected management proposals on cost savings.
A vote by staff is due to take place today.
“These proposals do not involve job losses or pay cuts. If the investment were to go ahead, it would guarantee the future of the plant for the next 15 years,” a company spokesman said.
“The termination of the $40m investment by LTAI’s parent company will result in a new engine type going to another facility within the organisation, and will inevitably lead to notice of layoffs and short-week working by the end of this week. This in turn will lead to the eventual wind-down of the facility, and the consequent loss of jobs there.”
Teresa Hannick of SIPTU condemned what she described as a threat.
She said: “This latest move, issuing a statement as workers are about to ballot on the proposal, is indicative of management’s overall approach.
“It seems to confuse bully-boy tactics with negotiation. Members will now be trying to assess the proposals on their merits, in spite of the company’s attitude.”
Ian McDonnell of craft union TEEU said: “This is not the first time LTAI has used the threat of closure and short time working to try and drive down pay and conditions.
“While they threaten to transfer the work to Germany, the reality is that pay and conditions are better there, with a shorter working week, longer holidays and flight concessions.
“Their proposals represent a cut of 50% in shift premiums, and management has given no written commitment that work on the new V2500 project will come to Ireland if our members accept the changes.
“There is no assurance available either that short time working and lay-offs will not take place if workers accept the changes.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved