An “emotive” row over outstanding pay increments for airport staff at Dublin and Cork has been referred to the Workplace Relations Commission.
Trade unions referred the row over the non-payment of increments and pay progression during 2020 after they failed to secure a meeting with DAA management to discuss the matter, according to correspondence.
But increments that were frozen as part of the airport authority’s response to the crisis have not yet been restored for workers.
Increments at the company had previously been frozen for five years as part of a 2014 deal to save the pensions of DAA and Aer Lingus workers.
They had only just been restored before Covid cutbacks saw them frozen once again.
Nevertheless, most DAA workers have fared better than many of their airline colleagues – particularly at Aer Lingus – and have seen their wages restored by CEO Dalton Philips from 80pc back to 100pc – apart from craft workers who have continued to hold out against work practice changes.
Some 1,000 DAA staff also availed of a generous severance package and the company has since advertised for new security staff to meet the demand from rising passenger numbers.
But the row over increments has created tension between unions and management.
Siptu aviation sector organiser Niall Phillips claimed in an email to the head of employee relations at DAA, Brendan O’Hanlon, that he had emailed him on September 21 to request a meeting to discuss the issue, following the cancellation of two previous meetings.
“A follow up email was sent to you on the 27/9/21 where the undersigned emphasised the importance of scheduling an immediate meeting with the group of unions to deal with this outstanding and emotive issue,” wrote Phillips.
He said that in a subsequent “lengthy phone call” he had been assured that a date would be set for a meeting by close of business the following day.
“Unfortunately, you have not provided us with a date and as such we wish to inform you that this matter is referred into the WRC Conciliation Services by ICTU,” he wrote.
A spokesman for the company said that “DAA is fully aware of ICTU’s referral to the WRC and we remain committed to engaging with our trade union partners in relation to this matter”.