DAA staff, including senior management, are being diverted from backroom jobs to deal with passengers in security queues at Dublin Airport to deal with a staffing crisis.
Airport Authority EO Dalton Philips has conceded to staff that last weekend workers bore the brunt of passenger frustration as some missed flights from Dublin Airport were attributed to security delays of up to two hours.
Starting today, the DAA is introducing a dedicated task force that will see staff who typically perform other roles in security lines and customer service duties. Mr. Philips has activated a “Gold Crisis Management Group” to monitor the situation.
The DAA announced this last night Irish Independent No employee will be asked to do anything they are not ready and/or trained to do.
Volunteer Task Force staff receive normal pay or time off for weekend work when they are not normally scheduled for weekend work.
They were told to come to the task force shifts with a safety vest, comfortable shoes, water and a guidebook. The shifts last four hours every Thursday to Monday in a three-week cycle.
Around 600 people are believed to be on the volunteer list, with an initial plan for three weeks, which could be extended.
It comes after it was revealed the airport is offering potential security guards €14.14 an hour and can only guarantee 20 hours of work per week – a wage of €283.
However, candidates are expected to be able to work 40 hours a week “via a 24/7 roster”.
Working conditions were criticized in the Dáil yesterday, with Social Democrat TD Cian O’Callaghan accusing the DAA of “running a race to the bottom”.
Kevin Cullinane, head of communications for the DAA group, said last night they were “pulling out all the stops”.
“A number of initiatives are being rolled out that will help to significantly improve the situation for passengers over the coming days and weeks as we recruit additional permanent security personnel,” he said.
“One of these initiatives is the establishment of a task force, bringing together staff from all levels and functions of Dublin Airport, including senior management, to support colleagues on the front line.”
He said it’s not uncommon for DAA or other companies to ask employees to row in to help colleagues when circumstances call for it.
“Indeed, this is not an exceptional step without precedent as we plan similar initiatives every year in case of severe weather events such as storms and snow,” he said. “It’s a testament to the culture that pervades DAA that such initiatives are welcomed by employees at all levels.”
Mr Cullinane said the initiative has been overwhelmingly well received by staff “who really want to restore our reputation and help our passengers get to their final destination as efficiently and smoothly as possible”.
The decision was made in light of the unique challenge Dublin Airport is currently facing as it struggles with a perfect storm of staff shortages, a difficult recruitment market, long onboarding times for new staff and high absenteeism rates from Covid.
“There are tasks that most staff can do to help, from providing basic information to passengers in the terminals to preparing passengers for security and many others in between.”
Mr Philips apologized for the delays on RTÉ radio yesterday. He said they have 600 security guards but need to get closer to 900.
“The labor market is incredibly tight,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/dublin-airport-drafts-in-backroom-staff-to-deal-with-passengers-in-security-queues-41505436.html Dublin Airport is hiring backroom staff to attend to passengers in security queues