Mandate withdraws from DAA industrial action

Monday 10 March 2014 19.35
The planned action arises from a dispute over proposed cuts in pension benefits
The planned action arises from a dispute over proposed cuts in pension benefits

The retail union Mandate has withdrawn from Friday's threatened industrial action at the Dublin Airport Authority.

SIPTU members at the DAA, the Shannon Airport Authority and Aer Lingus are due to strike for four hours on Friday morning in a row over cuts in pension benefits.

A number of other smaller unions had also voted for industrial action.

Mandate also served notice of industrial action last Thursday.

However, in a letter to the DAA, the union's general secretary John Douglas said that Mandate had accepted the offer to meet the expert panel established to consider the issues involving the aviation pension scheme.

He said it anticipated meeting the group this week, and that in light of this meeting, it had deferred its notice of industrial action served on the DAA.

Both the DAA and Ryanair have applied to the High Court for an injunction to prevent SIPTU from proceeding with Friday's strike, which will come on one of the busiest tourism weekends of the year.

That application is due to be heard in the morning.

Aer Lingus cancels flights

Meanwhile, both the DAA and Aer Lingus are making contingency arrangements on the basis that the strike will go ahead. 

Aer Lingus said that even if the strike is called off, the damage has already been done, and it has been forced to give certainty to passengers by proceeding as if the stoppage is going ahead.

A spokesperson said all transatlantic flights will operate on Friday, with inbound flights scheduled to arrive either before or after the strike.

29 European flights have been cancelled on Friday while the airline has rescheduled a further 36 flights.

Full details on schedule changes are available on the Aer Lingus website.

The company said customers whose flights have been cancelled or retimed by over three hours can change their flight free of charge or apply for a refund.

Additional capacity has also been hired to assist in getting the schedule back to normal after the stoppage.

The DAA said it was still doing everything it could to avert the dispute.

It said it was continuing to talk to the airlines and will communicate with customers after tomorrow's court hearing.

The expert panel appointed to try to resolve the dispute met the parties on Friday and is due to issue a preliminary report by the end of the month.