Thursday 22 February 2018

SIPTU ordered to pay costs incurred by DAA and Ryanair to prevent airport stoppages

Planes at one of the country's three main airports
Planes at one of the country's three main airports

SIPTU has been ordered to pay the costs incurred by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and Ryanair in their successful applications for injunctions preventing stoppages at the country's airports last Friday.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan last week made orders preventing SIPTU from holding a four-hour stoppage at Dublin, Shannon, and Cork airports in the long-running dispute over proposed cuts in pension benefits.

Today the judge ruled while the airline and the DAA are entitled to their legal costs of the action he put a stay on the costs orders pending the outcome of the full action between the sides.

Lawyers for Ryanair and the DAA had sought their legal costs given that the court had made orders preventing the strike from taking place. Their application was opposed by Siptu.

Lawyers for the union said that any costs order against it would be "draconian" argued the issue of costs should be left over until the case had been decided by the courts.

Richard Kean SC, for Siptu, argued that any cost order would not help resolve the pensions dispute.

In his ruling, the Judge said court had granted the injunction sought by the DAA against Siptu, and given the outcome of the proceedings they were entitled to their costs.

The Judge said it while had not been necessary to consider Ryanair's application, as it had sought similar orders against the trade union as the DAA, the airline had had brought relevant issues to the court not raised by the DAA.

As a result Ryanair, the judge said, was entitled to its costs.

The Judge again expressed his hope that all relevant sides would takes steps to resolve the dispute concerning pensions of workers at the DAA and Aer Lingus.

Union members at both Aer Lingus and the DAA had voted for industrial action last month over a €780 million deficit in the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme, a pension scheme jointly operated by Aer Lingus and the DAA.

After separate negotiations between unions, the DAA, and Aer Lingus ended without a resolution, Siptu notified the DAA, Cork and Shannon airports and Aer Lingus that its members planned industrial action.

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