By Councillor Clare Daly
THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the loss of 1100 jobs in SR Technics and the virtual shutting of the operation is a cynical exploitation of the situation in the Irish economy by this wealthy and successful multi-national. The impact on Dublin’s northside would at least be on the scale of Waterford Crystal and Dell in Waterford and Limerick respectively. It must be halted.
SR Technics management have taken a strategic decision with regard to Dublin – the only base it is closing in the world. It is utter rot to say that costs in Dublin are 20% higher than other economies. Workers at SR Technics didn’t even get the paltry national wage agreement during most of the boom years with wages falling way below DAA and Aer Lingus workers. This is a viable business with a highly skilled staff. There is no reason why they should close or why workers should accept a butchering of the pay and conditions that exist.
Unfortunately what is going on at the company is an inevitable consequence of the privatisation of TEAM Aer Lingus, by the Fianna Fail/Labour government, when the business was given to FLS who made a killing and then passed it on to SR Technics who made another killing. Also the privatisation of Aer Lingus by Fianna Fail & the PDs means that most of the maintenance work on the Aer Lingus fleet is now done outside Ireland.
Crocodile tears from politicians who caused the problem in the first place is not good enough. You can’t control what you do not own. Once the companies were privatised then profit maximisation became the only goal. Re-nationalising SR Technics and Aer Lingus is the only practical solution to save the jobs. If they can bail out the banks then surely they can bail out workers. The cost to the economy of these job losses will be catastrophic if they don’t.
Action from the workforce is the only way that they can be put under pressure. A major protest should be organised in Swords without delay, calling on all airport workers and families to attend. An occupation of the company in the same manner as Waterford Crystal workers would win widespread sympathy in the wider community and put the government under enormous pressure. Determined and bold action is the only way. Workers have nothing to lose and everything to gain by this approach. The Socialist Party will do everything we can to assist that struggle.