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Staff at DAA, Shannon Airport and Aer Lingus to hold ballot on industrial action

SIPTU members in Aer Lingus and the DAA are involved in a pension dispute.

Image: PA Image

A BALLOT OF Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Shannon Airport staff and Aer Lingus will commence this Saturday.

SIPTU said it has decided to ballot for industrial action in a row over pensions, but said that no matter what the outcome of the ballots, no industrial action will commence until after the busy Christmas period.

Pensions

In a statement, the union said that “despite determined efforts by the Aer Lingus, DAA and SAA Pension Committees to have your pension contributions withheld, the Employers continue to procrastinate as to whether this can or can’t be done”.

They added that while the Pension Trustees have come up with a proposal for the Pension Board to consider, there are two significant problems with it – the independent pension advice strongly suggests that Trustees proposals are too risky to find favour with the Pensions Board and the Pensions Board has suspended assessing Pension Trustee proposals until a new law is passed – this could add a further 6 months to this crisis.

Ballot

SIPTU added that there are many more reasons they are balloting but “in short it is to demand that all employers agree to providing, at a minimum, 100 per cent of their employee’s past accrued expected benefits and that any future pension arrangements are controlled by the employees directly”.

They added that the entirety of this process should begin now in an “intensity and sincerity” that has not occurred in the past.

This week, SIPTU expressed concern at the announcement of the separation of Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

SIPTU Organiser, Tony Carroll, said: “The business plan for the new Shannon entity is unrealistically ambitious given that it is based on a model which envisages increasing Shannon Airport passenger numbers by 50 per cent within a short time scale. This is against a backdrop of falling aviation numbers and a declining GNP in Ireland and elsewhere.”

He said there had been no consultation with staff, or their representatives, to date. O’Carroll said staff have “genuine concerns around their job security and quality of employment and other related matters”. The speed with which the implementation of this decision is happening does not leave a lot of time for the necessary guarantees to be received, he said.

SIPTU said they would be consulting with its members in Shannon Airport this week about its strategy to protect their livelihoods.

READ: Further Pfizer jobs could be at risk in 2015>

READ: SIPTU Dublin Bus drivers vote against industrial action>

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