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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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ESB union will serve notice of industrial action on Friday

The largest ESB union said it is now up to management to honour their agreement with workers on the company’s pension scheme.

Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

Updated 23.05pm

THE LARGEST UNION in the ESB, Unite, has confirmed that it will be serving notice of industrial action on the company this Friday.

Union official Richie Browne said this is on the foot of the “overwhelming mandate for industrial action” given by members in the ballot results last Monday.

The dispute centres around an agreement in 2010 to address the €1.6 billion deficit in ESB’s pension scheme which workers say the company has now breached. Changes to ESB’s accounting treatment were revealed in October though the company said this did not change the nature of the scheme.

“All the ESB has to do to resolve this situation is to reverse the unilateral changes to its accounting procedures which show the workers’ Defined Benefit pension scheme as a Defined Contribution arrangement, thus camouflaging the apparent deficit and allowing the company to shrug off responsibility for current and future deficits,” Browne said today.

“It is now up to the ESB to honour its agreement with workers, reverse the unilateral accounting changes and avert industrial action,” he added.

Unions are due to meet with management on Thursday with calls for the government to intervene as the company warned industrial action could hit power supplies.

Related: ‘Unnecessary and unreasonable’: Varadkar and Coveney hit out at ESB strike threat>

More: Retail firms to switch energy providers if ESB strike goes ahead>

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