Taoiseach recognizes importance of saving ‘high quality’ Lufthansa jobs
The importance of maintaining “high quality” jobs at Lufthansa Technik has been recognized by the Taoiseach.
The future of Lufthana Technik in Shannon remains uncertain with up to 500 jobs at stake. The airport maintenance specialist has confirmed that he is conducting a strategic review of its Irish operations.
Options currently on the table for the German company include a restructuring of its Irish operations, the complete closure of the plant and the sale of the business. A decision on the future plan should be known by mid-July.
The Clare Echo understands that the Shannon-based Atlantic Aviation Group has visited the site before and Dublin Aerospace has also expressed interest.
Based in Shannon since the early 1990s, Lufthansa provides more than 300 highly skilled jobs, the rest being handled by contractors. “If planes don’t fly, companies like Lufthansa will be impacted in the future,” warned Helen Downes, CEO of Shannon Chamber.
Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday, Clare TD Joe Carey (FG) highlighted how important a Lufthansa Technik employer has been to Co Clare and the Mid-West region. “The company is a major employer in the Midwest, offering 500 highly skilled jobs. The government has invested heavily in this critical enterprise over the past 18 months through the Temporary Wage Subsidy Program, TWSS, and the Employment Wage Subsidy Program, EWSS. The company also benefited from the tariff exemption. It is extremely important that the government and its agencies engage with this enterprise and guarantee the 500 jobs at risk. The current strategic review focuses on a possible closure, sale or restructuring. It is important that the government and the Taoiseach provide all the support necessary to secure these jobs ”.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin (FF) recognized the need for urgency in this matter. “Government agencies will engage with the company because these are high quality jobs. These are important jobs that we want to keep in the country and in the region. The whole area in question has been very effective in creating aviation-related jobs. The government will do everything possible to be supportive in ensuring that jobs are maintained, ”the Taoiseach promised.
Meanwhile, MP Michael McNamara (IND) expressed his hope that more than 300 full-time, highly skilled jobs can be saved at Lufthansa. “While the majority of contract staff have been released over the past year, particularly at the onset of the pandemic, company management has engaged with SIPTU worker representatives to ensure that the majority full-time staff was retained. This has been successfully achieved so far by staggering shifts with staff taking paid time off by taking advantage of days accumulated over the years. This device is however unsustainable in the medium term for the company ”.
McNamara said the pandemic has negatively affected the international aircraft maintenance industry, but the challenges facing businesses in Ireland have been compounded by the Irish government’s “aberrant aviation policies”. He added: “The liquidation of Stobart Air with the expected loss of Shannon’s services to Birmingham and Edinburgh, and Aer Lingus’ decision to close its cabin crew base at Shannon Airport last month put in evidence the crippling effect that the government’s aviation policy is having on the sector at large ”.