WORKERS at Dublin's newly constructed Terminal 2 will be on lower pay than their colleagues in the older hub, it emerged today.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) will have to cut wages at the new facility in order to meet cost targets, reports revealed.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation has warned that "alternative arrangements" will be made if costs are not met.
The regulator has set wage scales significantly below the rates the DAA pays existing staff.
It is believed the new pay rates will be up to nearly €20,000 a year less than the ones in Terminal 1.
A total of 500 people will be employed at the 75,000sqm terminal, which was built by the DAA at a cost of more than €600m and is due to open in November.
The DAA is thought to be considering not changing existing wage rates.
Instead, it could staff most of the positions with new recruits on different terms and conditions.
However, unions are concerned of the implications such a move would have on pay rates at the three main airports.
They argue that staff have suffered pay cuts of up to 12pc.
In addition, there were 300 voluntary redundancies which reduced payroll costs by €38m.
Earlier this month, Transport Minister Noel Dempsey gave the DAA the right to operate the new Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport.
The minister said he had hoped to have a competition for the operation of the new terminal but none of the rival candidates met the minimum requirements.
He said he had no option but to end the procurement process last December.
However, he said the DAA would have to show it could run the terminal in line with cost targets set down by the Commission for Aviation Regulation.
He gave the authority three months to report back to him.
DAA Chief Executive Declan Collier said: "The DAA has been set a significant challenge by this decision. We will now work to try and meet the criteria stipulated by the minister."
Fine Gael transport spokesman Fergus O'Dowd criticised the minister for his handling of the competition issue.
Mr O'Dowd said: "This is yet another Dempsey disaster. At least €850,000 has been spent on a competition to choose an operator for Terminal 2. But the minister has now scrapped the competition."