13 June 2021
By Tom Collins
Department of Transport must support workers during Cork Airport closure – says Local TD
Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has urged the Department of Transport to increase funding allocated to the Regional Airports Fund with the purpose of keeping aviation workers on the books for the duration of the runway works at Cork Airport.
The Cork South Central TD said:
“Hundreds of workers are at risk of being laid off for the duration of the planned 10-week runway works at Cork Airport later this year.
“This includes not only 200 Aer Lingus workers, but many companies connected to the airport. The workers are understandably worried about their incomes, their jobs and their terms and conditions, but I believe a solution is possible here.
“Today I am calling on the Department of Transport to add to the Regional Airports Fund to resolve this. An additional stream of funding should be allocated and administered by Cork Airport and the DAA, to ensure employers can keep workers on the books over the course of the 10 weeks.
“This can help the airport, its employers and crucially its workers to get over this period, and allow us to enter a period of rebuilding.
“Unquestionably, Cork Airport will still need ongoing funding. The Government need to realise that aviation will take 2 or 3 years to recover, that’s true not just in Cork but across the state. We will need an increase in OpEx and CapEx funding for three years minimum.
“However, my ask today is for this very immediate and short term concern and I think we can address this, at a limited cost to the Department, and we can ensure terms and conditions are safeguarded, jobs are secured and workers are reassured.
“I have written to the Minister for Transport to put forward this proposal. The Department of Transport have a duty to act, to ensure that we are in a position where Cork Airport can thrive and reach its full potential, and that all of its workers are protected. “