'Why did she ignore deals on table?'
Published 16/02/2010 | 05:00
RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary has a reputation as a tough employer, but Chris Walker would rather work for him than be on the dole.
This Friday, the senior business analyst at SR Technics' once-thriving base maintenance division will lose his job -- 31 years to the day after he joined the aviation firm.
The father of four (59) is one of the 15 workers left from what was a workforce of 1,135 just over a year ago. There will only be five of them left at Hangar 5 the following week.
The tiny workforce is busy mothballing archives and tying up loose ends for the aviation maintenance firm that pulled out of Dublin Airport last year.
At nearby Hangar 6, 96 former colleagues are part of the Aer Lingus line-maintenance division.
Mr Walker considers himself fortunate to have had nine months more work than most of his colleagues, some of whom were just weeks from retirement and lost more than half of their pension.
Like most of his colleagues, he would like to see Mr O'Leary's proposal to offer 300 maintenance jobs succeed.
When it comes to the Tanaiste's handling of Ryanair's expression of interest in the firm and many others, he is scathing.
A management buyout was put forward, as was an alleged bid by a Canadian businessman who promised to save 900 jobs. "Mary Coughlan's not fit for the post and her own former junior minister John McGuinness said that," he said.
"It would appear by how the expressions of interest were managed that she didn't manage the process correctly and bears responsibility for the scale of loss of jobs.
"Every employee was behind the management buyout, which would have meant a 20pc drop in pay and 400 redundancies. When there were better deals on the table, why didn't she go with them?"