Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Strike threat over pensions row

More than 4,500 members staff at Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority have voted for industrial action in a row over pensions

A strike threat by airline and airport staff will not have any immediate impact on travellers, unions have said.

More than 4,500 members staff at Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority have voted for industrial action in a row over pensions.

Six trade union groups represent the workers - SIPTU, Impact, Mandate, the TEEU, Unite and UCATT - have been mandated to serve notice if either company attempts to make changes to their pension scheme without the agreement of staff.

Liam Berney, of the umbrella Irish Congress of Trade Unions, said the result of its ballot should send a clear message to both companies that staff are determined to secure their pension entitlements and are prepared to act to ensure this is the case.

The dispute centre on the Irish Aviation Superannuation Scheme (IASS), which has a deficit of up to 700 million euro.

"It is now up to both companies to come forward with proposals that meet the expectations of members of the IASS," said Mr Berney. "The unions are available for meaningful negotiations. However the time has come for the companies to put forward realistic proposals that are capable of being given serious consideration."

Mr Berney said the travelling public would not be immediately affected, unless the companies act first. But he warned the unions wanted a speedy response from management.

Aer Lingus said the airline remains committed to working with all the relevant parties to find an appropriate solution to the IASS funding shortfall.

"We do not anticipate disruption to services at this time," it added.

Meanwhile, DAA said it did not believe there were any grounds for industrial action as the parties were engaged in a process under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission, which is expected to resume next month.

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