Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Airports hit by controller action

Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport will be one three hit by the air traffic controllers' action

Airports in the Irish Republic will be brought to a standstill on Wednesday afternoon if a planned strike by air traffic controllers goes ahead.

Aer Lingus is cancelling 64 flights, with Ryanair cancelling a further 48, affecting thousands of passengers.

A dispute over work practices has led to the industrial action by controllers at Dublin, Shannon and Cork Airports.

The airports will be shut down between 1400 and 1800 GMT while controllers attend mandatory union meetings.

The meetings have been called following the suspension of 15 controllers from Dublin and Shannon Airports for failing to cooperate with new technology.

The trade union Impact said the issue of new work practices was under discussion at the Labour Relations Commission and staff should not be suspended while the negotiations were ongoing.

However, the Irish Aviation Authority claims that Impact told controllers not to cooperate with a number of new technology projects unless they were given pay rises.

The authority said that up to 150 flights at the three airports were likely to be affected and advised intending passengers to contact their airlines for further information.

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