An industrial dispute at Dublin Airport sees flights cancelled and passengers angry and frustrated.
On day two of the baggage handler's dispute, Aer Rianta was determined to keep Dublin Airport open. However continuing strike action saw flights cancelled leaving passengers stranded.
A skeleton staff from management were used to operate the obligatory fire services and at first a flew planes got away. However, around 10 am the situation deteriorated with Aer Lingus ground crew blocking four Ryanair planes on the apron preventing them from leaving their bays. Ryanair wanted the Aer Lingus crew arrested and Gardaí were called to the scene. Following negotiations between the Gardaí and the SIPTU (Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union) workers, they left shortly after 11 am. Ryanair were granted a high court injunction preventing SIPTU workers employed by other airlines from stopping their flights.
The chaos continued inside the airport with many passengers waiting over twenty-four hours for flights out of Dublin. One tourist said that while she had a good impression of Dublin, to begin with, she won't be back anytime soon.
Some flights got away during the afternoon but all evening flights were again cancelled resulting in further frustration for passengers.
Striking baggage handlers discussed the latest offer on the table at the SIPTU offices as the pickets remained. The Ryanair baggage handlers engaged in industrial action in pursuit of union recognition and were supported by other workers at Dublin airport.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 March 1998. The reporter is Aileen O'Meara.