A small number of staff offered lump sums of up to €32,500 to move to Dublin Airport's new terminal are expected to apply by a deadline today.
Sources reveal that the equivalent of around 30 full-time staff at Terminal 1 have submitted applications to work in the new €600m state-of-the-art building at Dublin Airport.
But fears are growing that there may be compulsory redundancies if the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) does not get 100 full-time workers at the older terminal to transfer to the newly built one.
It wants this number to move because the staff will be considered 'surplus' as a result of plans to move 40pc of passengers from Terminal 1 to the new one, when it opens in November.
The surplus staff, who work in the Airport Search Unit, have been offered severance deals of between €4,000 and €32,500, depending on the amount of hours they work a week.
But their pay will be slashed by around 6pc and they will be on poorer terms and conditions under new contracts at Terminal 2.
The Irish Independent previously revealed that existing pay at the DAA would have to be slashed if it wanted to run the terminal.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation has set upper limits for wages which are tens of thousands of euro below the rates the airport authority pays.
Current pay rates for some positions are almost €20,000 a year more than those set by the regulator.
For instance, a security supervisor paid up to €57,414 in Terminal 1 can only be paid up to €37,760 in Terminal 2, according to the regulator.
Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has cleared the way for the state-owned airport management company to operate the terminal -- if it meets the regulator's targets -- and he has given the DAA until next month to show it can keep within these parameters.
He warned that "alternative arrangements" will be made if costs are not met.
The low level of applications among existing staff to work at Terminal 2 will cause problems for unions as it could effectively lead to compulsory redundancies if the DAA offers all of the jobs to new recruits.
Sources said that 55 staff had applied to move to the new terminal, but some are part timers, so the figure only equates to roughly 35 full-time staff, or a third of the required numbers.
It is understood that most of the applications have been put in by members of the 61 fixed-term contract staff in the search unit, but few permanent staff have been tempted to apply.
The DAA will employ more than 700 staff at the new terminal, and if 100 of these come from the old one, this means that up to 600 new jobs will be created.
New roles will be broader than those at Terminal 1, divided into four staff sections; catering for passengers, operations (including cleaning and collecting trollies), retail and maintenance.
A SIPTU dispatch to members on the overstaffing issue at the old terminal reveals that the DAA has informed the union that it intends to set up a subsidiary company called DAA T2 to operate the new terminal.
"If the surplus number is not achieved, we will obviously have serious problems come late October," it says.