Ground staff and firefighters’ hours slashed by nearly half
Workers denied entrance to airport this morning
July 11th: Unite today announced that workers at Waterford Regional Airport have voted to take industrial action after the airport’s management decided unilaterally to cut their hours from 39 to 21 hours per week. The cuts follow the closure of Belgian-based carrier VLM which operated from Waterford to Luton.
Waterford Airport acts as a base for the Irish Coastguard’s Search & Rescue operations, and is used as an aircraft servicing and training facility by CHC, the Coast Guard’s operating company.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly said:
“The closure of VLM has been a blow not only to Waterford Airport but to the economy of the South-East. Management’s focus now must be on attracting an alternative carrier to service the crucial Waterford-London route, rather than unilaterally slashing workers’ hours.
“Unite members are particularly angry that the cuts only apply to ground staff and firefighters, but seemingly not to management.
“Management has made a bad situation worse by refusing to allow workers onto the airport premises this morning, in a move which our members regard as an effective lock-out.
“We will be announcing what form the industrial action will take tomorrow. Management can resolve this dispute immediately by reversing their unilateral decision to slash workers’ hours and allowing our members back in to work”, Tony Kelly concluded.