Labour Dispute Disrupts Irish Airport Operations

21 January 2010 (Last Updated January 21st, 2010 18:30)

A labour dispute has disrupted airport operations across Ireland causing the cancellation of more than 100 flights. According to sources, the dispute arose when the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) suspended air traffic controllers for refusing to carry out normal assigned duties.

A labour dispute has disrupted airport operations across Ireland causing the cancellation of more than 100 flights.

According to sources, the dispute arose when the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) suspended air traffic controllers for refusing to carry out normal assigned duties.

Members of Ireland's largest public sector union IMPACT stepped in by taking disruptive action through mandatory union meetings.

Irish airline Ryanair cancelled 48 flights on Wednesday, affecting more than 6,000 passengers, while former state carrier Aer Lingus cancelled 64 flights.

The union's real agenda was to seek a pay increase, the IAA said.

IMPACT, however, revealed that the pay issue, as well as the Irish public sector workers protesting at government austerity plans next week, is separate from the airport dispute.

Repeated closures and delays due to bad weather have already plagued Irish and British airports since late December.