Security personnel at Dublin airport have warned they will refuse to cooperate with – or even assist in training – soldiers called up to guard the airport.
The government’s crisis plan to deploy armed forces at the airport could further fuel an already delicate industrial relations situation, sources said.
In an email to union officials, a senior security official claimed to write on behalf of concerned colleagues: “Under no circumstances will I or any of my colleagues allow Armed Forces personnel to shadow us in the performance of our roles, if part of a training process for them – and we expect the full support of our union representatives before this situation arises.”
Sources said soldiers had already started training, and a union official wrote in response to concerns that it planned to meet with both store stewards and DAA management: “DAA has not contacted your store stewards or this union to consult with us or We have learned of this development through the news media and are currently awaiting a discussion with the DAA on the matter.
A DAA spokesperson said in response that it remained confident in its operational plan and that it was “determined in our efforts to avoid the more drastic measures taken by other international airports, such as curtailing flights.
“The emergency measure is for a short defined period between July 6 and August 15. The deployment of armed forces at vehicle checkpoints would only take place in the event of a Covid resurgence. Our expectation at this point is that the deployment of the armed forces may not be necessary,” he said.
DAA would work with “our union partners on all matters that arise”.
Security personnel at the vehicle checkpoints objected to union officials, sending an email to officials saying he and his colleagues were “extremely concerned” about the plan and questioned whether “there was any consultation between the DAA and our union representatives”.
He wrote: “Me and my colleagues are already very concerned about our long-term future within the DAA as the company has made decisions to either change the opening hours of some vehicle checkpoints, or in other cases to post for days or weeks. in a row.”
He said vehicle checkpoint guards had gained many years of experience and criticized the move to replace them with staff trained and certified in a matter of weeks.
Meanwhile, construction begins this week on the airport’s large north apron and taxi replacement project. Restrictions will take effect on the driveway if the old pavement is torn and replaced. This can sometimes lead to flight delays on the ramp, with possible knock-on effects for passengers, sources said.
The DAA spokesperson said the project was critical “to ensure a safe, efficient and simplified airport with a coordinated approach to maximize airport capacity in collaboration with our airlines and business partners.
“The construction phase has been discussed with all stakeholders and optimized to take advantage of the new North Runway opening this summer on schedule and on budget.”