Irish air traffic controllers to strike

January 19: Irish air traffic controllers are to strike tomorrow in a dispute over the suspension of 15 colleagues accused of refusing to adopt new work practices.
Irish trade union IMPACT says that five air traffic controllers were suspended at Shannon Airport with ten suspended at Dublin, and that the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) would make “further suspensions today and tomorrow”.
According to the IAA, IMPACT has instructed controllers not to co-operate with a number of ongoing technology projects unless the IAA pays extra. The IAA also says that the controllers were refusing to do work “they have already been doing for the last two years”.
The new work practices are to be referred to the Labour Court for conciliation, but controllers are thought to be almost unanimous in supporting the union’s stance, says IMPACT.
Mandatory union meetings tomorrow will temporarily shut Dublin and Shannon airports between 14:00 and 18:00 tomorrow (Wednesday January 20) and a similar stoppage will take place in Cork Airport between 16:00 and 18:00.
“We cannot function if we have to pay people every time we upgrade a system,” said Liam Kavanagh from the IAA. “These are very well paid staff – a controller will typically earn a basic salary of over €112,000.”