Mediation for taxi dispute
Taxi drivers and the Dublin Airport Authority have agreed to enter mediated talks in an effort to end a strike that has disrupted passengers for a second day.
The strike that began yesterday has forced passengers arriving at the airport to rely on public transport and private cars for their onward journeys. August is one of the busiest months at the airport.
Sources said both sides had agreed to enter talks starting at 5pm this evening. The row involves 55 taxi spaces in a holding area of the airport that have been taken back by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
A sign at the taxi rank today warned passengers of the strike and directed them to the nearby bus terminals.
The queues began to grow at the bus stops this morning and more people appeared at the taxi rank seeking assistance from the dispatcher. The man on duty patiently examined maps and hotel directions and pointed tourists and other travellers towards the buses. He declined to speak to reporters, however.
Annika Palu and a colleague from Estonia had just arrived for a three-day workshop in Dublin. They looked bemused to be turned away from the taxi rank but said they would take a bus to the city centre.
Helen Charlton and boyfriend Rokas Liaminas had just arrived from Stansted on their first visit to Dublin. They stood at the empty taxi rank where they had hoped to pick up a taxi to their hotel in Finglas.
Ms Charlton shrugged and said she didn't mind as she believed there was a bus serving the route.
Two Dublin Bus Airlink buses were boarding passengers but neither was full. Nearby, a blue Aircoach bus was also boarding. The man at the Aircoach customer service desk said business had been busier today in "peaks and troughs" depending on flight arrivals.
The Airlink and Aircoach staff were co-operating and referring passengers to each other's service, depending on the routes people needed to take, he said.
Some passengers were confused when they arrived to find the taxis were on strike, but he said queues were orderly as people waited for information.
On a typical day, Aircoach sees about 3,000-4,000 passengers pass through the airport. It expected business to double today.
A DAA spokesman urged the drivers to resume services. He insisted the spaces, which had been used as an “overflow” facility for the main holding area, had only ever been available to the drivers on a temporary basis. He said the drivers had been aware of this since 2010.
He said there was no issue with parking capacity for taxi drivers at the airport.