SIPTU representatives highlighted the impact of inferior pay and conditions of employment for new daa staff as a key factor in the current crisis at Dublin Airport at a meeting with Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, this afternoon (Tuesday, 31st May). SIPTU Sector Organiser, Niall Phillips, said: “We told the Minister of State that staff are doing their utmost under very difficult circumstances at Dublin Airport. Many are reporting being abused and in some cases, spat at by frustrated passengers.  “The Minister of State was told that staffing levels cannot be ramped up easily because the pay and conditions for many new daa workers are not attractive for the very specialised work they carry out.”  SIPTU Airport Search Unit Shop Steward, Joe O’Sullivan and SIPTU daa Section Committee Chairperson, Barry Nevin, explained to the Minister of State that the Garda vetting process for new workers in the Airport Search Unit often takes up to six weeks. They said that downward pressure on terms and conditions at daa are a significant contributing factor in the failure to fill job vacancies in the Airport Search Unit and the Airport Police.  SIPTU Organiser, Jerry Brennan, said: “The Minister of State expressed her thanks to the existing daa staff for continuing to do their best. She accepted that many people had been incentivised to leave the daa during the pandemic as it benefited the company to eliminate large numbers of so called ‘legacy contracts’ with good terms and conditions. These workers have been replaced with staff on contracts with inferior terms and conditions or not replaced at all.” SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “If the aggression from passengers reported by Airport Search Unit staff in Dublin Airport had happen in the air, they would have been removed from the flight. Similar attitudes need to be adopted towards unacceptable behaviour towards ground staff if the airport authorities are serious about staff retention.”