Unacceptable holding pattern
Published 21/01/2010 | 05:00
'Excellent hearing and speaking skills are a requirement, and trainees undergo rigid physical and psychological testing. In addition they are generally assertive but calm under pressure, and they are able to follow and apply rules, yet be flexible when necessary. . ." So goes a list of qualifications required of an air traffic controller. "Follow and apply rules, yet be flexible when necessary. . ."?
It seems an unlikely description of the group of workers who slammed the door on the outside world yesterday, sending out a message that Ireland was closed for business and that its public sector couldn't care less.
Why were thousands of intending international air passengers inconvenienced and humiliated yesterday? Was it because highly paid Irish controllers feel so intimidated at the prospect of dealing with what they call "new technology" that they must engage the labour relations machinery of the country?