Des fights for daa worker-director post


IMPACT activist Des Mullally is seeking support for his bid to win a second term as a worker-director on the board of airport operator daa. Polling day is 22nd November, and all company employees are entitled to vote. A company employee for over 30 years, Des was first elected as a worker-director in 2013, when colleagues gave him the second highest number of first preference votes.

In a letter to daa staff, Des said he was running to address high staff turnover, protect jobs from privatisation, see that staffing levels increase in line with business and passenger number growth, and ensure that staff continue to share in the success that daa has achieved in recent years.

He told colleagues that, by working together, they had overcome much of the uncertainty of the recession years. “We’ve seen our workplace thrive as passenger numbers have grown. In the last four years we’ve secured a new DC pension scheme available to all staff, a 4% pay increase for everyone, and the restoration of pay cuts two years before schedule.

“We’ve also secured better terms and conditions for some categories of staff through new framework agreements, while others continue to work to reach agreements that should deliver pay progression over time,” he said.

But staff turnover at the company remains high. “We need to find solutions to this and ensure that working conditions are sustainable and attractive,” he said.

Asked what had been his main achievement as a worker-director so far, Des told us: “Probably the resolution of the pension issue. Four years ago we were faced with a DB scheme that was under-funded and heading for wind-up. Yet we were still paying into it, while new staff had no access to a pension scheme.

“Along with other worker-directors, I was initially excluded from board discussions on the assumption that we were “conflicted.” But we managed to get our voice heard after seeking legal advice. We were then able to give other board members an insight into the real feeling among staff. This ultimately helped to find the resolution with the creation of a new DC scheme and an upfront lump-sum investment that minimised the loss to staff.”

Des, who is a member of IMPACT’s IAESA branch, is one of seven candidates chasing four posts in the election. Staff can cast their ballot at polling stations on 22nd November.

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