The news of 410 job losses at Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland, in Rathcoole is a devasting blow on local employment for Rathcoole and surrounding areas including Clondalkin. Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland, despite their announcement of a drop in profits, is still a company turning over millions of dollars. Their operating profit for 2012 was $21.9million. In 2011 when management refused to pay the last 2.5% pay increase under towards 2016, they were boasting that Lufthansa Technik AG globally was making a profit of $820 million.
People Before Profit Councillor Gino Kenny said “The Government needs to now step in and secure the highly skilled jobs of Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland. People Before Profit has met with workers, and they feel local government representatives have let them down by not highlighting this news or questioning this move by LTAI. I welcome the news of 20 permanent positions announced in Microsoft Ireland plant at Grange Castle, however claims from local TD’s that their government is successfully targeting Clondalkin as key job creation area on the back foot of Microsoft’s news is a farce. Why have they been so quite about the 410 local job losses. This is a company that will do whatever it takes to maximise profits. Their pulling out of Rathcoole, with no regard for the workers, is clearly a move for cheaper labour”.
It was only in 2010 that the then Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Mary Coughlan, declared Rathcoole as the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) site for the new IAE V2500 engine with an investment of $40million. Speaking at the time, she declared that the investment would secure the future of the site in Rathcoole in the medium and long term. Minister Coughlan said “This investment is not only important in terms of the technologically advanced operations that will take place at the site, but the up skilling of current employees through training and development will ensure that LTAI maintains its leading international position as a world class provider of jet engine MRO services.”
Cllr Kenny went on to say,
“There needs to be an investment by the Government to secure and develop the highly skilled jobs of the LTAI workers. The site in Rathcoole which has been going since 1980 was initially founded by Aer Lingus – 17 years before Lufthansa bought it out. There is no reason why it cannot have public investment again. People Before Profit Alliance will support workers by raising this issue and asking the necessary questions to Government. We believe at this point the government should take the site into public ownership.”