THIS week’s the announcement by Atlantic Aviation Group (AAG) that it has acquired Lufthansa Technik Shannon, securing 300 highly skilled full-time workers in Shannon has raised concerns about the future of the remaining 180 jobs.
The devil is in the detail and while the official announcement of the acquisition did not refer to redundancies, this issue has now been addressed by a number of interested parties.
SIPTU representatives are seeking an urgent meeting with the management of Lufthansa Technic Shannon “following the announcement of its intention to implement up to 180 redundancies”.
SIPTU official Tony Carroll said, “We are disappointed and concerned at the scale of the job losses being proposed. Staff have endured uncertainty about the future of the plant since October 2020, when Lufthansa Technic Group announced a strategic review and three possible options; sale, restructure or closure.
“The sale option was announced in June 2021, when a confidential due diligence process began with Atlantic Aviation Group (AAG).
“We now wish to discuss with management the scale and nature of the proposed redundancies and AAG’s future strategic plans,” Mr Carroll explained.
SIPTU TEAC division organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said, “SIPTU shop stewards and members have put hard work into maintaining the operation of this site as evidenced in the pandemic operation agreements they entered into. They did this while awaiting the outcome of the due diligence process carried out by its new owners.”
“We now wish to engage in talks concerning the scale of redundancies and a strategic way forward to protect the remaining employment, terms and conditions of our 350 members at the Shannon plant.”
Meanwhile Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara said that clarification was needed on the future of all existing full-time jobs at Lufthansa Technik as well as the retention of the two aviation hangars used by the company.
“The sale agreement is undoubtedly very positive news for AAG but the full impact of the acquisition on all 480 full-time employees and future operations at Lufthansa Technik Shannon has yet to be outlined.
“Staff have played a key role in ensuring the future of the operation through their engagement with management and SIPTU over the past year. This included staggered work shifts with staff taking paid leave by availing of days built up over the years.
“I will be seeking more clarity on the issue from representatives of AAG and Lufthansa Technik Shannon,” he added.
Shannon Chamber president Stephen Keogh said that Lufthansa Technik had provided valuable employment in Shannon and contributed greatly to the growth of the aviation sector.
“The retention of 300 skilled employees as a result of this acquisition is therefore most welcome,” he added.
“AAG has had a very positive impact on the aviation sector in Shannon and in Europe since its executive chairman, Patrick Jordan, acquired the business from Transaero in 2015. Under his stewardship, AAG has grown phenomenally, not just through increasing employment levels at Shannon from 220 in 2015 to its current levels of 437, now set to increase by 300, but also, through expanding its capabilities and range of business operations.
“A decision of this nature is difficult for everyone, particularly employees and their families who will be impacted. The impact of the pandemic has weighed heavily on the aviation sector for near two years now and the recovery has been slow and challenging for many companies. With aircraft grounded for over a year, the MRO sector has been particularly impacted. However, this acquisition by AAG, instils confidence that aviation businesses and the MRO sector is on a recovery trajectory.