411 job losses at Lufthansa Technik

Aero firm to close jet engine overhaul facility in Dublin

Some 411 staff are to lose their jobs at Lufthansa Technik. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Some 411 staff are to lose their jobs at Lufthansa Technik. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 10:36

Lufthansa Technik is to close its jet engine overhaul facility at Rathcoole, Co Dublin, with the loss of more than 400 jobs.

The company this morning confirmed it had given formal redundancy notices to all 411 staff at the plant.

Last month, Lufthansa Technik announced the start of a 30-day process to consider closing the company, subject to consultation with all relevant parties. This followed an extensive review of operations at the firm, in the context of declining revenues and shrinking international market opportunities.

The company said an offer from an outside party to take over the facility did not lead to any acceptable offer. US group Cloud Investment, whose founding partners include Irishman and former GPA executive Declan Treacy, was interested in taking over the facility.

It also said negotiations with the three trade unions and employee representatives failed to identify any viable alternatives or to reach agreement on severance terms.

The company said statutory redundancy will be paid to all employees on completion of notice, at which time any ex-gratia payments agreed following today’s Labour Court proceedings will be made.

Management and unions will attend a Labour Court hearing today to discuss ex-gratia redundancy terms and the company pension scheme.

The unions are seeking six weeks’ pay for every year of service on top of their members’ statutory entitlements, while the company is understood to be offering four weeks.

The unions say a deal given to workers laid off in a previous round of compulsory redundancies in 1994 sets a precedent for their demand for six weeks.

The talks initially went to the Labour Relations Commission last week when the two sides failed to reach agreement. This resulted in the company threatening to take its offer off the table. The LRC referred the matter to the Labour Court.

Workers’ representatives also want the company to clear a deficit in its defined benefit pension scheme.