Irish aviation sector facing ‘tsunami’ of redundancies

The Irish aviation sector is facing thousands of redundancies according to Siptu.

The union made the warning ahead of its appearance before the Covid-19 Committee today, where it is asking Government to extend the wage subsidy scheme for the sector until at least May of next year.

Neil McGowan, Aviation Sector Organiser with Siptu, says it has asked employers to only impose redundancies on a voluntary basis:

“If they need to reduce the numbers employed in the airlines or at the airports or at the ground handling companies, that is the responsible way to go about it, and a number of companies have followed that route.”

There’s been relatively few actual redundancies in the industry to date, but there’s an absolute tsunami of redundancies coming at us – I believe it will be in the thousands.

Mr McGowan said the union is asking that companies availing of the scheme not be allowed issue compulsory redundancies:

“I certainly think that the government missed a trick where companies are still able to make people compulsory redundant while availing of those state supports.

So that is one of several recommendations that we are putting to the committee today, and we are seeking for it to be altered, that conditionality is attached in relation to no compulsory redundancies, no permanent reduction.”

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