Anxious wait for fate of Technik

by Ian Begley

A total of 411 workers at Lufthansa Technik, Rathcoole, are expected to receive their redundancy notices on Friday, December 20 as the aircraft maintenance plant is likely to close.
In November, Lufthansa Ireland said their decision to consider closing the plant followed an extensive review of operations in the context of declining revenues and shrinking international market opportunities.
Negotiations between Lufthansa management and its three trade unions (TEEU, SIPTU, UNITE) have stalled. A hearing will now take place before the Labour Court on December 20.
A worker for Lufthansa said that the atmosphere among his fellow employees is very tense.
The worker said: “Many people are worried about how much will be included in their redundancy packages. It’s a terrible thing to happen right before Christmas, but you have to remain strong despite the circumstances.
“The company is going before the Labour Court and we won’t know anything for sure until the hearing on Friday.”
“If I did lose my job then I reckon that I would just have to get on with things. I’ve been working here a little under 10 years, but there are many people working with Lufthansa for 30,” said the worker.
Dublin Mid-West TD Robert Dowds (lab) expressed his disappointment about the likelihood of the Plant closure, and “can only hope” that the Lufthansa staff receive fair redundancy packages.
He said: “I am very disappointed that the Lufthansa Plant is shutting down, which is a setback for what are otherwise improving local job figures.
“I had met with Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to see if they could intervene to help save these jobs, but unfortunately that has not happened.
“I can only hope now that the workers get as good a deal as possible as part of their redundancy package and that some of those laid off will be able to find alternative work as soon as possible,” said Deputy Dowds.
Clondalkin Councillor Eoin O Broin (SF) has responded to the news saying, “The news that the 411 workers at Lufthansa Technik are to be served their redundancy notices this Friday is a devastating blow to the workers, their families and the local economy.”
People-Before-Profit Cllr Gino Kenny also described the news as a “devastating blow” on local employment for Rathcoole and surrounding areas.
He said: “The Government needs to now step in and secure the highly skilled jobs of Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland.”
Airmotive was founded in 1980 by Aer Lingus, but in 1997 the company was taken over by the Lufthansa Technik group.
Lufthansa refused to comment.

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