Inadequate protection from Covid-19 for aviation workers, says Siptu

Inadequate Protection From Covid-19 For Aviation Workers, Says Siptu
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Digital Desk staff

There are serious concerns about the current level of protection from Covid-19 for Dublin Airport staff, according to workers’ union Siptu.

A large cluster of Covid-19 cases formed at the airport’s on-site fire station in March and April, which at one point resulted in 34 firefighters out of work either due to being unwell or isolating as a precaution.

Siptu aviation organiser Niall McGowan says it is pushing for better facilities for workers to social distance:


“We still have a relatively large number of staff on duty at a given time, and the breakroom facilities are often not adequate, so that’s something we continue to push with the management of the airlines, the airports and the third-party handlers, to ensure that those break facilities are sufficient.”

Meanwhile, the union has warned the Covid-19 Response Committee that the Irish aviation sector is facing a “tsunami” of redundancies.

Last month Aer Lingus said it would have to get rid of 500 jobs at the company due to the effects of the pandemic, while Ryanair has announced the closure of a base in Germany.

The Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) has told the committee that the travel restrictions here are stricter than in any other EU country, but the State has failed to offer additional support to airlines and airports.


It says the July Stimulus package did nothing for the sector, which President of IALPA Captain Evan Cullen says is reaching a point of no return:

“Both hands are very firmly handcuffed, and we’ve been thrown into the river here. The Irish government are telling people not to travel, and at the same time they won’t assist the very airlines that need travel in order to survive.

And when this economy needs an airline industry in the new year to restart its connectivity and its economy, there won’t be one to bring it back.”

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