Union signals ‘complete opposition’ to DAA outsourcing plans

Connect seeking meeting with airport operator in row over work practice changes

Connect regional secretary Sean Heading said suggestions that DAA would outsource the work had angered members.  Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Connect regional secretary Sean Heading said suggestions that DAA would outsource the work had angered members. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

DAA could meet trade union Connect next week for talks on a dispute over the State company’s plans to outsource maintenance jobs in Dublin Airport.

The company last week said it would outsource maintenance work in Dublin Airport after more than 100 craftspeople there rejected work practice changes.

Connect, one of the workers’ unions, said on Thursday that it wanted to meet DAA management to “relay its complete opposition” to the plan.

DAA subsequently confirmed that it wrote to the union on Thursday seeking to meet with its officials on August 5th.

It is understood that Unite, the craft workers’ other union, has yet to respond directly to DAA’s announcement of the outsourcing plans, although official Willie Quigley issued a statement condemning the move.

Connect regional secretary Sean Heading said that suggestions that DAA would outsource the work had angered members.

“We strongly oppose the outsourcing of these roles as it damages the operation of services and undermines the conditions of employment of all the workers involved,” he warned.

Mr Heading added that Connect representatives were available to engage with DAA management to seek an agreed solution to the dispute.

Restrictions

Most DAA workers agreed last year to work practice changes as the company battled the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, which left it with a €284 million loss in 2020.

Around 1,000 workers have left the business, responsible for Cork and Dublin airports, through a voluntary severance programme.

A DAA spokesman said the company had “engaged extensively” with Connect and Unite on new work practices without reaching agreement.

“Multiple proposals have been referred to the Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court, with no agreement reached, despite the Labour Court’s most recent recommendation that new ways of working should be accepted,” he added.

He noted that DAA told the affected workers that it would engage with their unions on the next steps to implement the changes needed to revive the business following the pandemic’s devastating impact. “This will be arranged presently,” he said.

Changes proposed by DAA included working across both terminals – craft workers operate in one or the other – technology enablement and roster alterations.