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High Court halts airport strikes by granting injunction to DAA

Dublin Airport Authority welcomed the decision today which directs SIPTU to withdraw its planned industrial action at Dublin and Cork airports this Friday.

Passenger looks at flight board
Passenger looks at flight board
Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated 17.15pm

THE HIGH COURT has granted an injunction to the Dublin Airport Authority to halt the planned closure of Ireland’s airports this Friday.

Unions at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports planned to go strike for four hours at the beginning of the St Patrick’s Day bank holiday weekend in a row over a €700 million gaping hole in the workers’ pension fund.

Unlawful

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) went to court last Friday to seek the injunction to stop the unions from going on strike, claiming that the industrial action is unlawful. Ryanair also took the same step.

Dublin Airport Authority welcomed the decision by the High Court today which directs SIPTU to withdraw its planned industrial action at Dublin and Cork airports this Friday.

SIPTU confirmed the the injunction would mean the suspension of their planned strike action.

In response to the decision of the High Court, SIPTU Pensions Advisor, Dermot O’Loughlin said:

We will be complying fully with the orders of the High Court. However, this does not resolve the pensions dispute.

Accordingly, we will be consulting with our legal advisors with a view to developing a strategy to enable us to exercise our right to withdraw labour and take industrial action in the absence of a fair resolution of the pensions issue within a reasonable time.

Reacting to today’s judgement, DAA said:

Given the unwarranted nature of SIPTU’s planned action and the significant disruption that it has already caused to airline customers, passengers and DAA’s own business, DAA had no option but to apply to the Court for injunctive relief, to try to ensure that both Dublin and Cork airports operate as normal on March 14.

DAA apologised to its customers and stakeholders for the inconvenience and stress that the “unnecessary threat of industrial action has caused”.

DAA called on SIPTU to fully focus on engaging with the Government-sponsored Expert Panel, which was established last week which they said is seeking to reach a “fair and sustainable resolution to broader pension issue”.

The trade union Mandate withdrew its notice of strike action stating that they would be meeting with the expert panel this Friday and will await the outcome talks.

Sean Brogan, the Interim Chief Executive of Aer Arann also welcomed the court’s decision, stating that it “provides certainty to passengers and staff of the airline, and ensures that all scheduled flights will operate as normal this weekend”.

Speaking today, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said he too welcomes the High Court ruling which he said should allow the State airports to operate normal services this Friday.

“I have said on a number of occasions that the strike should have been deferred given that the Expert Panel is currently engaging with all parties involved in the dispute,” he concluded.

Originally published 4pm

Read: Mandate union withdraws from strike action at DAA>

Read: DAA and Ryanair launch court action to stop strike at Irish airports>

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