Shannon mechanics could strike over Aer Lingus hangar plan

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

WORKERS at Aer Lingus’ maintenance operation at Shannon Airport are preparing for industrial action if the airline goes ahead with plans to quit its hangar, according to reports.

WORKERS at Aer Lingus’ maintenance operation at Shannon Airport are preparing for industrial action if the airline goes ahead with plans to quit its hangar, according to reports.

Around 55 of the 70 local jobs are at risk, with 15 staying on for smaller turnaround maintenance jobs.

UNITE organiser Brian Gormley said a meeting was due with the Shannon workers this Tuesday to decide on a plan of action if Aer Lingus goes ahead with plans - which have been considered at board level - to transfer maintenance operations from Shannon to Dublin.

“If they announce the sale of the hangar at the end of June, I would think industrial action will start immediately,” Mr Gormley said.

He added in advance of the meeting: “I don’t know for definite what members will call for but I couldn’t see much point in anything less than a withdrawal of labour”.

UNITE had already warned the company Shannon staff would resist the proposal and condemned the manner in which workers first heard the news.

“Despite their long and highly praised service, the first our members knew of the plan to sell the roof over their heads was on the RTE news,” Mr Gormley said.

Minister Leo Varadkar said in April he was aware Aer Lingus was involved in “commercial negotiations” which could result in a net gain in maintenance jobs at both Shannon and Dublin. The minister declined to go into further detail and the company has refused to comment.