Support staff based at Cork Airport are considering industrial action following the decision of their employer to make three workers compulsorily redundant.
Three of the six staff members employed by OCS (Ireland) Ltd., a facilities company contracted by the airport, are facing compulsory redundancy due to the decrease in traffic at the airport.
Speaking to The Echo, Aviation Officer at SIPTU, Tony Carroll, said that SIPTU is calling on the company to review other options, such as giving the six employees part-time hours “so that if the business picks up you could bring them back full-time or a combination of full-time and part-time” or keeping three employees on full-time and laying off three “so if anybody gets sick or if there’s a Covid outbreak you have a second team who are trained and ready to go”.
Mr Carroll said that the three staff members being let go were told they are being made redundant with effect from tomorrow at the final consultation meeting of the review process on Tuesday morning.
We have told them once they issue the notice tomorrow that we’ll be balloting all six members for strike action at the airport.
He explained that once any level of business picks up at the airport, that six staff members will be required to carry out the job.
“Right now three people can do it because you’ve one shift a day, five days a week, so you can cover it one shift with three people, but if you get a flight in the morning and a flight in the evening, you can’t cover it with one shift, you’ll need two shifts so you’ll need a minimum of six just to cover the operation,” he said.
He said that the staff “are annoyed” and that laying off staff instead of terminating their contract “gives them some certainty that they’ll get the job back at some stage during the year” but that OCS is “adamant” to make three redundant and keep three on a full-time basis.
OCS has been contacted for comment.