Trade union Unite, which represents craft workers at Dublin and Cork airport operator daa, has written to the company informing them of their decision to ballot for industrial action up to and including a full withdrawal of labour.

It said the decision was taken at a general meeting of members yesterday.

Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley claimed daa management made a "complete u-turn" by not implementing the terms of a Labour Court recommendation around new ways of working in a post Covid-19 environment.

"Throughout this process, I would contend that the daa has failed to be upfront with our members," said Mr Quigley.

"Following confirmation of Unite's acceptance of LCR 22381, management has suddenly declared its refusal to implement the recommendation and voluntary severance," he added.

Mr Quigley said the resolution to this dispute is in the hands of the daa.

"Management must stand by its own acceptance of the Labour Court recommendation, including voluntary severance arrangements, and engage with Unite in good faith.

"Otherwise, they face the prospect of industrial action," he said.

Meanwhile, Connect Trade Union has said its members employed as maintenance workers at Dublin Airport will ballot on industrial action, up to and including strike action, if daa management proceed with what it called "an attempt to outsource their roles to third party companies".

Connect Regional Secretary Sean Heading said the union has written to the management of the daa today.

"If it proceeds to unilaterally outsource maintenance jobs to third party providers we will take appropriate steps to defend our members interests.

"In order to be in a position to do this, Connect members employed by the daa at Dublin Airport will be balloted for industrial action, up to an including strike action, that will proceed if management attempt to implement its outsourcing plan," Mr Heading said.

In response, the daa said it has engaged "extensively" with the Unite and Connect trade unions on a new operating model since June 2019, without securing an agreement.

"Having exhausted the industrial relations machinery of the State we wrote to both Unite and Connect Trade Unions on Friday 23 July to inform the affected employees that we would engage with their respective trade unions on the next steps to implement the changes required to re-engineer our business after the devastating impact of Covid-19 on our business," a daa spokesperson said.

The daa said it has engaged with the trade unions on a weekly basis since the onset of the pandemic to introduce new ways of working across all areas.

It said this engagement has resulted in 25 agreements being reached with 2,000 colleagues, covering 93% of their employees.

According to the daa, the degree of change required, varied across the different areas of the business, with some seeing considerably more change than others.

"The change requested from the workers in the asset management division was no different and, in many areas, considerably less than that sought from other colleagues across our business

"We will study the contents of the correspondence received this afternoon and revert presently to the trade unions with a considered response," the daa spokesperson said.