Shannonwatch Press Statement
14 May 2010
Following on from a decision by the U.S. military and their main troop carrier to re-route their traffic through different military bases and airports, it has been reported that Shannon Airport-based companies are temporarily laying-off staff. The Clare Champion reports today that a catering company, EFG Inflight, is making the temporary lay-offs because the troop carrier, Omni Air International, has diverted its business away from Shannon for the moment due to the volcanic ash cloud.
“This clearly shows the unsustainability of the war industry as a business model for Shannon Airport.” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch. “We sympathise with anyone who has lost their income but this shouldn't become an argument between local workers and businesses on one side, and people who have been campaigning for an end to the U.S. military use of Shannon on the other. Everyone needs to work for sustainable and morally based business for Shannon Airport.”
“The U.S. military record in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world should be enough to demonstrate how little they are likely to care about the jobs of Clare people. Their focus is on getting munitions, other cargo and troops into theatres of war, and they will always take the easiest route. Any deals that the politicians think they might have done to secure the war business for Shannon can evaporate overnight”.
The horrendous scale of violent and non-violent avoidable deaths in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan is seldom factored into debates over jobs at Shannon. Millions of men, women and children have died in these countries as a result of ongoing instability and conflict. Over 1,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. Most of these men and women would have passed through Shannon Airport before being killed in an unjustified and unnecessary war.
For Clare and Limerick people the fall-out from these wars is thankfully not loss of life. But it is the loss of jobs. This shows that it is time now for the Airport Authorities to develop a new and sustainable business model for the airport.