THE DECISION BY SIPTU to step back from the brink of strike action at Dublin Airport this week followed a week where unions and employers were at loggerheads exchanging threat and counter-threat.
As SIPTU first threatened to go ahead with the planned stoppages on October 1, the DAA said it was 'disappointed' with the move before the company sought to have a High Court injunction to stop the planned strike action. The DAA said the industrial action threatened by SIPTU was 'unwarranted' and would cause 'unnecessary worry and inconvenience for the travelling public'.
Apart from seeking an injunction against the planned rolling work stoppages, the DAA said it would 'continue to explore all options available to attempt to avert potential disruption to our customers and urges trade union representatives to engage with the current conciliation process rather than take needless industrial action'. Aer Lingus had threatened to sue SIPTU, its officials and members for €2 million a day for losses it expected to incur if the industrial action went ahead as planned this week.
The warring sides will now return to the negotiating table at the LRC to try to hammer out a deal that will resolve the dispute over a €700 million hole in the pension fund of airport and Aer Lingus workers. The pension scheme has about 15,000 members but was in deficit by some €700 million at the end of 2011 and unions want Aer Lingus and the DAA to make significant investments to close the deficit in the fund.