Thursday 17 April 2014

Varadkar: Strikes at airports 'premature and unnecessary'

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar TD. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar TD. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said the threatened strike at Dublin Airport on St Patrick's Weekend is "premature and unnecessary".

The travel plans of passengers face the prospect of disruption next month after SIPTU served notice of industrial action at Aer Lingus, the Dublin Airport Authority and the Shannon Airport Authority.

The threat of strike follows the breakdown of talks aimed at resolving the long-running dispute over cuts in pension benefits at those companies.

But Mr Varadkar said he did not believe the unions had given due consideration to the latest

"I think the strike should be called off," he said.

A four-hour work stoppage will take place at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports from 5am to 9am on Friday, March 14.

Mr Varadkar indicated the companies and workers alike would have to take part of the financial cost of resolving the issue.

"We all know what's going to have to happen here is burden sharing," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Varadkar also said proposed pay cuts at Irish Rail had to be delivered.

"We do need the payroll savings. The average salary per employee is now higher than when it was when the economy crashed in 2008," he said.

Mr Varadkar said there was not scope for hikes in fares.

He said railway was a very expensive way to deliver public transport.

"It's just not economic, you know," he said.


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