SIPTU representatives and shop stewards met with daa management on Friday, 1st July, to discuss the implications for union members following the request from transport minister, Eamon Ryan, for the Defence Forces to be put on standby at the vehicle control posts (VCP) at Dublin airport as a contingency. Niall Phillips, SIPTU Aviation Sector Organiser, said: “During the meeting, clarifications and commitments were given in relation to several issues of importance to our members. The contingency plan is specifically Covid related and will be triggered in the event of a spike in infections among airport security officers and where the related absenteeism exceeds 20% of scheduled staff. In the event of the contingency plan being activated, all VCP officers would be deployed into the terminals to support the screening of passengers and to ensure that travel disruption is kept to a minimum. At no time will our members in VCP be asked, or required, to work alongside Defence Force members or to train them. The daa has put in place alternative arrangements for the training of Defence Force personnel which do not involve our members. “The contingency plan will be in place for a limited period, from 6th July until 15th, August, 2022. Following activation and completion of the contingency plan, our members will revert to normal operations and will immediately revert to their allocated roster in VCP. The daa confirmed that there is no threat to the jobs of our members and that this is not a first step in outsourcing VCP. The daa has agreed to keep SIPTU appraised of Covid related absenteeism levels among ASU staff.”