Record turnout in vote on cuts plan for airports
Votes from nearly 3,000 workers at the nation's airports will be counted this morning to determine the outcome of a ballot on whether or not to accept a plan for cuts and redundancies put forward by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
It's understood that the turnout for the ballot, which has been conducted among members of several unions including SIPTU and Mandate, was well over 80pc. This is the highest turnout for a ballot at the DAA which employs a total of just over 3,000 workers at the three airports it controls -- Dublin, Cork and Shannon.
Last year, the DAA forecast an earnings shortfall of as much as €75m for 2009 as the number of passengers passing through Cork, Dublin and Shannon fell dramatically during the year.
The authority, however, still plans to open its costly new Terminal 2 at Dublin next November.
The number of passengers using Dublin has fallen from a peak of 23.5 million in 2008 to around 20 million last year.
Denis Brosnan, who is the chairman of the Mid-West Regional Taskforce, said over the weekend that Shannon had suffered a fall in passenger numbers which had been "huge, steep and massive".
The number of passengers between Shannon and Stansted fell 37pc to 15,310 in December, compared to December 2008, after Ryanair cut capacity on the route.
The number of passengers between Shannon and Birmingham was 47pc lower in December at 4,213.
The DAA, headed by Declan Collier, has been seeking to axe about 275 full-time posts and a further 100 temporary jobs. It also wants to alter pension agreements, introduce a freeze on pay, and alter conditions for any new employees. Although it is too early to call the result of the voting at the weekend, dissatisfaction with the proposals was in evidence among some DAA workers.
However, others have accepted the need for the company to save money and reduce costs. The unions have been recommending the changes to staff.
Just a simple majority is understood to be required for the changes to be accepted. However, if the workforce votes to reject the cost-cutting plan then this will put the DAA management and staff on a collision course.