Minister Alan Kelly in assurance for Shannon staff

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

EXISTING terms and conditions for the workforce at Shannon Airport are “absolutely assured” after they cease to be DAA employees two weeks from now, according to Minister of State at the Department of Transport Alan Kelly.

EXISTING terms and conditions for the workforce at Shannon Airport are “absolutely assured” after they cease to be DAA employees two weeks from now, according to Minister of State at the Department of Transport Alan Kelly.

Trade unions are unconvinced by government assurances that their conditions will be unaffected by the separation of Shannon from the DAA and its merger with land assets of Shannon Development.

Over 200 SIPTU members at the airport have voted 95% in favour of industrial action unless they receive new guarantees in writing. And SIPTU said that staff at Shannon Development had also voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of industrial action - up to and including a strike - in the absence of such guarantees.

“Following the recent Government decision to break-up Shannon Development and transfer its assets and some of its staff to a new aviation company, SIPTU members sought specific guarantees in relation to terms and conditions of their employment - including pensions. They also sought an assurance that they would enjoy the continued protection of the terms of the Croke Park Agreement and the resolution of specific outstanding industrial relations issues,” SIPTU’s Jane Boushell said.

Deputy Kelly said the workforce at Shannon Airport need have no concerns about inferior terms of employment.

“Key from a Labour party perspective is that all staff are transferred into the new entity under existing terms and conditions and this is absolutely assured. The only thing that will change from an employee perspective is that the future will be so much brighter and secure. Unfortunately, the status quo does not offer this security so that is why separation is absolutely essential,” he commented.

Workers, through ICTU, would continue to have a voice at the top table at the new airport company and would be represented on the board, Deputy Kelly said.

During last week’s Dail debate on separation, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said Shannon workers terms and conditions would “not be diminished in any way when they become staff of the (new) Shannon Airport Authority”

He added that Shannon Development staff who transferred to the new company would remain party to the Croke Park Agreement.