Shannon airport unions reject recovery plan and 20% paycuts

Unions criticised the speed of the decision. File picture.
By Ciarán Sunderland

Unions at Shannon airport have rejected a recovery plan that would see pay cuts of up to 20%.

The Shannon Airport Group of Unions have labelled the move unacceptable and said the cuts will be strongly resisted.

The group of unions criticised the lack of consultation with staff and called for immediate discussions with management.

They have also rejected a voluntary redundancy scheme proposed by the company and say they will look for terms similar to those on offer at the DAA.

SIPTU aviation organiser Neil McGowan, speaking on the behalf of Fórsa and Connect, criticised the announcement by Shannon Airport management. 

Mr McGowan said: “The announcement by management at Shannon Airport that it intends to cut members pay by up to 20% is completely unacceptable and any unilateral pay cuts will be strongly resisted. 

"The lack of consultation with staff and their representatives is appalling and will not assist in reaching an agreeable solution to the difficulties of the airport company."

Mr McGowan said the terms of the voluntary redundancy scheme published by Shannon Airport yesterday were not discussed with the Shannon Airport Group of Unions and questioned the timing of the decision.

“We will be demanding the withdrawal of these proposals and that meaningful negotiations commence without delay. We will be consulting our members in the coming days to discuss the best means of defending the interests of Shannon Airport workers. 

“The airport is a vital piece of infrastructure and this announcement represents a serious risk to jobs and the wider economy in the mid-west region. 

"The Group of Unions has also questioned the timing of this announcement which was released in advance of the report from the Task Force on Aviation which is expected to make recommendations to Government in the coming days.

“We believe the company should have waited for this report before announcing swingeing pay cuts and staff reductions,” Mr McGowan said.

Labour TD Duncan Smith said the Shannon Group should have engaged with the Union groups before deciding to make lay offs.

Mr Smith said: "I am disappointed by the disgraceful decision of the Shannon Group to cut pay by up to 20% and to publish details of a voluntary redundancy scheme without even consulting the trade unions representing workers at the airport."

Mr Smith urged management to wait until an aviation task force completes its work on future travel restrictions in Ireland before making further decisions.

Mr Smith said: "I am calling on the Shannon Group to delay these redundancies and pay cuts at least until the aviation taskforce has completed its work and to engage with the Shannon Airport Group of trade unions to see if it will be possible to negotiate a restructuring plan without job losses."

 The Shannon Group was approached for comment.

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