Siptu upbeat on S R Technics dispute


Siptu representatives are to meet S R Technics management and aircraft handlers tomorrow after a "very constructive" discussion today on the dispute at the company.

Around 1,200 posts are under threat at the aircraft maintenance company after 21 aircraft handlers from Siptu rejected new productivity arrangements.

But this evening, Siptu branch organiser Pat Ward said: “After a very constructive discussion we identified a mechanism that we believe can resolve the current impasse."

“A general meeting of the 21 aircraft handlers involved will be held at 11am tomorrow to provide them with the details. After that we will be seeking an immediate meeting with S R Technics."

Under the proposed work practice reforms, aircraft handlers would have had to operate 12-hour shifts and carry out refuelling work which was previously performed by other personnel.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, called on the group of aircraft handlers who rejected the reforms to work with management to resolve the situation.

Mr Cowen said: “I believe that if common sense prevails in this situation we can sort it. I would ask employees that they work with their representatives and management over the next 24 hours to sort it out.”

In a statement on Friday, the company said the decision by the aircraft handlers to reject the proposals meant it could not sign a new 10-year contract for line maintenance with Aer Lingus.

SR Technics, formerly known as Team Aer Lingus, had said the retention of the contract was vital for its future viability. The company was informed by Aer Lingus last week that if it could not sign up for the contract from the beginning of June it would have to seek alternative arrangements.