Sunday 21 January 2018

Airport workers quiz Davis on her role in closure

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Mary Davis's presidential campaign faces a new threat from more than 1,000 workers who have lost their jobs at Dublin Airport.

Members of the old workforce at SR Technics last night warned she would not get their vote, claiming that she failed to answer questions over her role when the aviation maintenance firm closed with the loss of 1,135 jobs.

Ms Davis earned €17,500 a year as a director on the board of Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) when SR Technics announced it was closing two years ago.

SR Technics's exit caused outrage, particularly as it departed without addressing a €26m pension deficit and offered redundancy terms barely above the minimum legal limit.

Workers believed the DAA's decision to buy out the leases on the SRT hangars -- for an estimated €20m -- cleared the way for it to pull out.

Staff representatives asked Ms Davis to pinpoint when she first learnt the Zurich-based firm was pulling out and how much the authority paid to buy back the hangars in questions lodged with her office last week.

They have also asked her to explain her stance at board level and how she voted on the hangar issue.

"I believe giving money to SRT was unethical and morally wrong," said former worker John Devlin.

"She has asked for fairness and transparency in the run-up to the presidential campaign but this has not happened in relation to the questions we have asked."

Ms Davis earned a total of €86,693 during her six-year term as a DAA director.

In a statement to the Irish Independent last night, Ms Davis said during her time on the board of the DAA she acted with diligence and integrity.

"The decision to close the SR Technics facility was taken by SR Technics and was not something that the board of the DAA had any role in.

"I am extremely supportive of the work of the Labour Court in hearing both sides, resolving disputes and protecting employees. I believe that, in any dispute, there is a real onus on the parties involved to honour recommendations made by the Labour Court," she added.

The Irish Independent previous revealed she was paid almost €190,000 by state agencies to which she was appointed by Fianna Fail ministers.

Ms Davis said she was asked to join them because of her expertise and leadership skills.

Irish Independent

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