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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 21 August, 2014

Strike likely as talks over Aer Lingus and DAA pensions break down

Efforts to resolve the €748 million deficit in the pensions scheme ended “in disarray” last night, SIPTU says.

SIPTU staff at Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority are now likely to pursue strike action over a major pensions deficit.
SIPTU staff at Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority are now likely to pursue strike action over a major pensions deficit.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

STAFF AT AER LINGUS and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) look likely to pursue strike action after talks between the two employers and SIPTU over a dispute in the €748 million pensions deficit.

SIPTU says the discussions at the Labour Relations Commission broke down last night, with Aer Lingus representatives reportedly refusing to meet directly with the unions representing the staff pension committees.

The union also claims Aer Lingus is refusing to attend the Labour Court in relation to the issue – leaving workers “angry and disillusioned”.

“Local representatives sought the opportunity to meet with the management side to tease out the specifics of the company’s proposal,” SIPTU organiser Dermot O’Loughlin said.

“The company refused to meet and only provided a three-quarter page note entitled ‘Proposal Summary’ which was bereft of detail,” he accused.

SIPTU had previously pledged strike action over the issue, and had only called off planned action for earlier this month after accepting a last-minute plea from the Labour Relations Commission to enter talks.

The dispute centres on the funding of the Irish Aviation Pensions Scheme – to which both the DAA and Aer Lingus contribute – which has an deficit of €748 million.

The DAA had threatened High Court action to stop the previously proposed strike action.

Aer Lingus has previously warned that employees could receive as little as 4 per cent of their expected pension benefits if they did not accept a deal, given the size of the deficit in the pensions scheme.

Read: Row rumbles on as Siptu rejects DAA/Aer Lingus offer

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