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Failure to put Shannon Airport recovery plan in place costing aviation jobs - Violet-Anne Wynne TD

18 May, 2021 - by Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne has today criticised the lack of action by the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD after Aer Lingus announced further job losses and base closures.

Teachta Wynne said:

“For months, Sinn Féin have been calling for a survival and recovery plan for the aviation sector.

“We recognise the severe impact the necessary travel restrictions have had on the sector during the pandemic and we called for extra sector specific measures to be put in place to account for this.

“The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has taken an unacceptable hands-off approach to aviation and the Government’s lack of action is now costing even more jobs.

“We can’t expect smaller airports to compete with larger ones in a deregulated open arena. Shannon Airport is a vital industry in the Mid-West region and contributes massively to local employment and tourism. We cannot risk this essential industry lagging behind the other airports in the country and potentially having a detrimental impact on the region. 

“Over the last couple of years, there have been 55 job losses, with 14 staff members permanently laid off, with a further 70 whose hours were reduced. The remaining full-time employees at Shannon Airport have also been subject to a 20% pay cut, and that’s on top of a differential income between Cork Airport employees of roughly 15% meaning that full-time staff at Shannon receive 35% of a lower salary than their counterpoints in Cork. 

“The closure of the cabin crew base in Shannon is a massive blow to that region and the further job losses in Cork are devastating for workers and their families.

“The Minister for Transport must engage with Aer Lingus immediately to try and reverse the base closures and save as many jobs as possible.

“Sinn Féin vigorously opposed the privatisation of Aer Lingus in 2015 by Fine Gael and Labour. and we said it would cost jobs in the long run.

“Unfortunately, the decision to sell off this key state asset now severely weakens the Government’s hand in this situation.”

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