Waterford Airport 'surprised and disappointed' at indefinite industrial action

The move will see a full withdrawal of labour and picketing

Waterford Airport, strike, Unite, rosters, hours, Tony Kelly, pickets,

Image via @WATairport on Twitter

Waterford Airport management say they are surprised and disappointed at the announcement by the Unite union to take indefinite strike action from next Wednesday.

The strike will comprise full withdrawal of labour and the placing of pickets.

Unite says the move follows a management decision to slash workers' hours from 39 to 21 hours per week without agreement.

The union says this is coupled with management refusal to allow workers into their place of work to work their currently agreed rosters.

While airport management say the airport's revenues have fallen sharply since VLM Airlines discontinued scheduled passenger services on the Waterford to London Luton route on June 7th last.

"The withdrawal of this route has led to a very significantly loss of work available at the airport," it says.

"The airport has continued over the last number of weeks to engage with employees and their representatives as part of a number of cost-cutting measures - including short-time working on an interim basis, which commenced at the start of this week."

It adds: "These necessary measures have been put in place based on current business and regulatory needs, whilst at the same time protecting the employment of all staff that remain at the airport. The majority of staff understand and support the Airport’s decisions in these matters."

It says that the airport continues in the meantime to search for a new airline to provide passenger services to and from Waterford, and deliver "vital regional connectivity."

Unite represents 12 ground staff and firefighters at the airport.