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465 aircraft jobs facing axe in overtime dispute

THERE were increasing fears today for 465 jobs at a Dublin-based aircraft maintenance company.

German-owned Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland, whose offices are at Rathcoole, said it would close its operations in the city unless a union ban on overtime was lifted.

Management and unions agreed to enter crisis talks at the Labour Relations Commission.

The Dublin plant's business -- aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul -- could be moved to its facility in Germany if an impasse on overtime and pay increases is not resolved.

Lufthansa Technik said the ban on staff overtime is having a disastrous impact on output.



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Unions imposed the ban last March following the company's failure to pay the final 2.5pc increase under the Towards 2016 national wage agreement.

It is understood the company returned a profit last year, but stated it was not in a position to pay the increase.

A Labour Court ruling found that the company was technically in breach of the Towards 2016 agreement, but did not order payment of the increase.

The German business also owns Shannon Aerospace, where pay has been cut by 10pc, and there have been 130 lay-offs.

Lufthansa Technik's managing director Wolfgang Moerig addressed staff at the plant yesterday and the company has said that under current circumstances the closure of the facility is "most likely".

A statement issued by the company declared: "The 2.5pc increase sought was part of the last national agreement which effectively collapsed in 2009.

"When this matter was brought before the Labour Court in 2010, no recommendation was made by the court with regard to actual pay rates.

The company said "very serious damage" has been caused to output, with orders being turned away and trading losses expected.

It is understood that the Lufthansa plant in Hamburg would be in a position to take much of the work currently being rejected in Dublin.

SIPTU, which represents staff alongside the TEEU and UNITE, said it was surprised at yesterday's ultimatum because it felt progress had been made at talks last Friday.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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