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ESB unions issue strike threat ahead of meeting next week

The ESB Group of Unions met today and accepted an invitation to talks but have stated firmly that strike notice would be in place thereafter.

Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

WORKERS AT THE ESB have issued a written threat of strike action pending a meeting with company executives scheduled for next Thursday.

The ESB Group of Unions met today after members had on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

Following that meeting the ESB GoU have issued a letter to the company accepting an invitation to talks but have stated firmly that strike notice would be in place thereafter.

The Unions involved said in the letter addressed to the company that they hope the entire ESB executive director team and chief executive will be involved in next Thursday’s talks.

The ESB GoU say that the dispute is a result of the company breaching a 2010 agreement that sought to address a €1.6 billion deficit in the company’s pension scheme.

Unions say the agreement closed the scheme to new entrants, replaced the final salary nature of the scheme with career average and agreed a lengthy pay pause and pension freeze.

The ESB GoU says however that the company have breached the deal by changing the pension agreements from a defined benefit scheme to a defined contribution scheme which they say would transfer the risk onto members.

The unions have not provided any details as to what form any strike action would take.

Poll: Do you support the ESB workers?

Read: Union boss warns that ESB industrial action could hit power supplies >

Read: ‘Potentially serious impact for customers’ as ESB workers vote for strike action >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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