Oireachtas Transport Commission urges minister to appoint mediator to help resolve issues of “pressing concern” to aviation workers
The Oireachtas Transport Committee has urged Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to appoint a mediator to help resolve issues of “pressing concern” to aviation workers.
This is because air traffic controllers claimed the system was in crisis and personnel issues had resulted in an “increased risk of an air traffic incident or accident”.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) sent a letter from 160 controllers to Mr Ryan last week saying excessive reliance on overtime to perform the service has become a safety concern.
The crisis has meant that “the continuity of the provision of air traffic control service can no longer be guaranteed,” the controllers wrote.
In a letter to Mr Ryan this afternoon, Oireachtas Transport Committee Chairman TD Kieran O’Donnell wrote that the committee understands that “there are industrial relations and internal disputes proceedings going on. to resolve the issues that have been raised ”.
“In the event that these procedures do not result in a satisfactory resolution, the committee strongly recommends that an independent mediator be appointed to move the process forward as a matter of urgency.
“The committee suggests Kieran Mulvey, or another qualified and experienced labor relations professional,” he wrote.
Mr. Mulvey is the Director General of the Commission des relations du travail.
Mr O’Donnell also added that disruption to air traffic control services should be avoided as international travel resumes after the pandemic.
“These questions are urgent, in particular the operational questions raised by air traffic controllers. As the Irish aviation industry begins its post-Covid recovery, any disruption to air traffic control services must be avoided, ”he wrote.
The suggestion to write the letter was made at a private committee meeting yesterday by Senator Timmy Dooley, with the proposal seconded by TD Joe Carey and Senator Jerry Buttimer.