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Peter Hadden

Sacked Airport Workers Take Battle to Court

(January 2004)

From Socialist Voice (Dublin), January 2004.
Transcribed by Ciaran Crossey.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The 23 sacked airport security workers who are demanding compensation for their dismissal are to go to court later this month. A preliminary hearing is due to start on 26 January and is likely to last a week.

There will then be a full hearing of the case in March. The workers, including three T&GWU shop stewards, were sacked when they went on strike against the poverty wages paid by their employer, private security firm, ICTS.

For a year and a half they have been forced to battle not only against ICTS and the airport, but also against their union officials who initially repudiated their strike, thereby giving the company a green light to sack them.

They had hoped that with the election of new TGWU General Secretary, Tony Woodley, they would get proper backing from their union. Instead they were asked to accept a rotten deal that would have given miserly compensation in return for dropping their legal action against the company.

The workers’ legal team are confident that they have a very good case. Sacked shop steward, Gordon McNeill, told Socialist Voice:

“This has been a long and difficult fight for us but we have been determined to stand up for our rights. We feel that the facts that will come out in court will completely vindicate our stand.

“It will justify the position of the Socialist Party and those others who have stood behind us all the way. All along our main concern has been that the truth about what happened to us will come out so that other workers who go on strike do not suffer the same treatment from their employers or their union officials.”

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