Aer Lingus 'at a loss' over union action
AER LINGUS is “at a loss to understand why it has been served with notice of industrial action” by its unions in relation to issues around a pension scheme operated jointly with the Dublin Airport Authority.
It also called on the unions and the DAA to clarify their positions in relation to their separate discussions on resolving the pensions issue.
In a stock market statement issued late yesterday, Aer Lingus said its talks at the Labour Relations Commission last week were “overshadowed and hampered” by an assertion by the unions that a proposal targeting “85 per cent of final incomes” had been agreed with the DAA.
Aer Lingus said a “request” was made by the unions to match that proposal.
“Aer Lingus has received direct confirmation from DAA that its proposal under discussion with union groups does not target any such pension coverage level.
“Aer Lingus calls upon the union groups and DAA to resume their discussions and clarify their positions.”
A spokesman for the DAA said it “continues to engage in discussion with trade unions representative under the aegis of the LRC, to seek to address pension issues”.
Aer Lingus is working on a proposal that would deliver a maximum pension payout of two-thirds of final service for employees with the requisite service.
Impact and Siptu have said their members will undertake a two-hour stoppage on November 19th at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports as part of dispute over how to deal with a €748 million deficit in the Irish Airlines (General Employees) Superannuation Scheme (IASS).
Aer Lingus said the action has created “uncertainty” for its customers and was not a constructive step in seeking to address the funding issues in the IASS.
The airline said it “fully reserves” its position with regard to the industrial action, including holding the unions and all officials “personally liable” in respect of the losses it would sustain.
The company has previously stated that it would lose €2 million a day from an all-out stoppage.
Aer Lingus said it has honoured all of its commitments to the IASS and is focused on achieving a “fair outcome that improves the pension prospects” of members.
It said an “agreed solution” through negotiation was required with the LRC being the “appropriate forum” for this. It said it remained available to resume talks at the LRC and called on the unions to do likewise.