Saturday 16 December 2017

DAA hit by €100m Siptu bumper pay and profit demands

Union's push for share of profits comes on top of three-year pay claim

'The union is seeking 6pc per year for the three years from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019 for Dublin and Cork staff.' Photo: Gerry Mooney
'The union is seeking 6pc per year for the three years from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019 for Dublin and Cork staff.' Photo: Gerry Mooney

Fearghal O'Connor

The Dublin Airport Authority is facing a bill of up to €100m over the next three years because of an increasingly tense battle with trade union Siptu, which is demanding major pay increases and a chunk of the DAA's growing profits.

The demands come at a time when the company is under pressure to deliver improved infrastructure while keeping passenger prices low.

It emerged last week that Siptu had hit the company with a cumulative 19.1pc pay-rise demand. But new data seen by this newspaper shows that this pay claim alone will cost DAA as much as €40m. The union is seeking 6pc per year for the three years from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019 for Dublin and Cork staff. That demand will be followed by a potentially even more expensive battle over how big a share of the DAA profits staff at the airport should receive. Last month, DAA boss Kevin Toland, who is soon to leave to become ceo at Aryzta, told staff they would each receive a €500 voucher as part of a profit-share proposal. But Siptu sector organiser Neil McGowan wrote to management last week rubbishing the offer.

"This profit share, that has yet to be agreed, must reflect the actual levels of profitability and reflect the levels of profitability in the company," he wrote.

"The company are describing the current voucher as a 'normal, fair and transparent profit share payment'. To be clear, this payment has the same standing as the Christmas gratuity vouchers that it is replacing."

Well-informed sources said the vouchers would have been the equivalent of a 2.5pc profit share for staff and that Siptu's demand would likely be a multiple of that. Even if profit growth halved in the next three years, a 5pc profit share would cost the company well over €25m, according to research relating to the claims. A 10pc profit share ­- a likely target for workers, said a source - would cost the DAA over €50m, the data shows.

Toland is likely to have departed before the tense stand-off between Siptu and the company boils over into a threat of industrial action. While there is little likelihood of disruption during the summer season, sources said the busy Christmas period would be a more likely time for the issues to boil over into potential stoppages.

Adding to the tense atmosphere, members of the DAA's Airport Fire and Police Service are also pursuing a payment-of-wages claim with the Workplace Relations Commission that will be heard next month. They argue they had their pay reduced incorrectly by the company from 2009 to 2014. If successful this could cost the company between €600,000 and €1m, it is understood.

Sunday Indo Business

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