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(en) Workers Solidarity #77 - Why all the fuss about Aer Rianta?

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 22 Sep 2003 11:15:24 +0200 (CEST)

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The state company which runs Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports
is to be broken up if the government get their way. As it is one of
the most profitable state firms, what is the reason for this
privatisation? Is it good for air travelers, for airport staff, for the
ordinary taxpayer, or just for a few rich friends of the government?
Seamus Brennan says it will be good for travelers. The three
airports are supposed to compete against each other, and that will
"benefit passengers". Are we really supposed to believe that
people will travel from Dublin to Shannon to catch a plane for a
weekend break to London or Paris?

To aid this supposed 'competition' all the debts of Cork and
Shannon will be transferred to Dublin, and from then on those two
airports are on their own. To service this debt, we suspect that
Dublin Airport will have to sell off the successful Great Southern
Hotel group. And rich pals of Brennan and Harney will get their
hands on a very profitable business.

The debt also means that Dublin Airport will not have the money
to build the second terminal that has been talked about for years.
Instead it will be done by the McEvaddy Brothers (whose French
villa Mary Harney and Charlie McCreevy holidayed in a couple of
years ago), or even Ryanair. This will most likely see a refusal to
deal with unions, as happens in Ryanair. And they don't want
unions, because they want to pay lower wages and make staff
work in worse conditions.

Two competing terminals in the same airport will see even more of
an attack on wages in order to be 'competitive'. Each group of
workers will be encouraged to compete against each other, to be

In Cork and Shannon workers are also in for a rough time. The
Shannon stop-over is finished. The two airports will have to sell
themselves as low cost operations. Much of their business may
well be summer holiday charters, meaning that some staff will
only get seasonal contracts. Goodbye to having a job all year.

Whether it is bus, rail or airport workers - the problem is the
same. Job security, wage levels, pension entitlements and
working conditions will be sacrificed in order to fatten the bank
accounts of Bertie's wealthy pals. The way to stop this is for
transport workers to unite in action. Free fare days and strikes are
the way to go, anything less just isn't taken seriously by the

Alan MacSimoin

See also Workplace struggles and the unions

This page is from the print version of the
Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.

Print out the PDF file of this issue

Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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