Airport workers threaten strike action

Unions at Dublin Airport tonight threatened strike action within a week if management don’t commit to existing agreements on hiring new staff.

Unions at Dublin Airport tonight threatened strike action within a week if management don’t commit to existing agreements on hiring new staff.

Members of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (Siptu) held an emergency meeting today over plans to recruit 21 security supervisors.

Up to 600 airport police, security staff and fire officers agreed they had lost confidence and trust in the airport’s senior management systems.

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) wants to appoint the supervisors to improve screening services which were strongly criticised after an April security audit by EU inspectors.

But Siptu accused the company of trying to make the appointments without complying with existing union agreements.

Shop stewards have imposed a deadline of Thursday for management to give assurances they will honour union commitments.

Siptu Civil Aviation Branch Secretary, Dermot O’Loughlin said: “We are writing to the company advising them of the outcome of our meeting today.

“Essentially we will be seeking firm reassurances by return that the company will comply with all existing agreements and desist from taking current unilateral actions.

“Furthermore an emergency general meeting of all members of the airport police, security and fire services will take place next Thursday June 30, 2005 at Dublin airport.”

“If the company fails to respond positively it is highly probably that a serious ballot for industrial action will be called.”

The DAA insisted this morning that there would be no threat to flights in the near future.

Meanwhile, airport management today introduced a new passenger security screening channel to fast-track people flying from Dublin to other airports around Ireland.

The DAA says it is needed because Irish domestic flights had been most affected by the new security measures.

Passengers claimed that it was quicker to travel by road or rail than face the 60-minute check-in time and fly.

DAA spokesman Vincent Wall explained: “When we brought in new security measures in April, it has taken longer to get people through security, especially at peak times.

“That has had a disproportionate effect on internal passengers going to the seven or eight Irish airports and we’re trying to rectify that.”

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