The management of Sky Handling Partner and SIPTU representatives attended a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) conciliation conference on Monday 17th June, to discuss a dispute resulting from a refusal by the company to engage in collective bargaining with the Union.

The move follows a successful union organising campaign with Sky Handling Partner staff based in Dublin and Shannon. SIPTU members in Sky Handling Partner had stated in late May that they were considering industrial action in response to the refusal by management to recognise the Union for the purpose of collective bargaining. 

SIPTU Organiser, Jerry Brennan, said: “The prospect of industrial action arose due to a refusal by Sky Handling Partner to engage with SIPTU representatives both locally and through the auspices of the WRC. The company did this despite the fact that most of its staff are members of our Union.

“The company has now changed its position and the discussions today were constructive. I believe the company now sees the value for itself and its workers of operating a proper system of collective bargaining. 

“This is a significant development. It is also in-line with the new EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages which commits the Government, once it is transposed into Irish law, to creating an action plan to increase collective bargaining coverage to more than 80% of workers in the economy.”

He added: “Much credit for the progress they have made must go to our Union activists in Sky Handling Partner who have worked tirelessly to organise the workforce.”

Sky Handling Partner is a subsidiary of Group CRIT which is a global network of companies providing aviation ground handling and manpower recruitment services. Sky Handling Partner staff deliver essential aircraft services, such as check-in and baggage handling, to major airlines in Dublin Airport, including Qatar, Etihad, Delta, Tap Airlines, SAS, Air Canada, Air France, KLM, West Jet, Air Transat and Air Baltic.