Siptu meets over Aer Lingus strike
Siptu has warned Aer Lingus that its members would not accept proposals to resolve the current row over pensions if they were linked to negotiations on productivity.
The union held an emergency meeting of its Aer Lingus pension committee today to discuss a possible withdrawal of strike notice at the airline later this month, following intervention by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) and the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec).
SIPTU sector organiser Dermot O’Loughlin said the committee "unanimously" welcomed all initiatives aimed at resolving the dispute.
"We note that Aer Lingus has linked the resolution of the pension crisis to productivity/stabilisation measures," he said.
“Our members will not accept any proposals that require them to engage in productivity negotiations as a condition of protecting their pension entitlements.”
The union's Aer Lingus council of representatives is set to meet on Monday to discuss and decide on the recommendation of the pension committee.
Staff at Aer Lingus are scheduled to undertake a two-hour work stoppage on November 19th, as part of a dispute over how to tackle the €748 million deficit in the pension scheme which covers employees at the airline and at the Dublin Airport Authority.
The union and employers’ organisations urged staff at Aer Lingus to withdraw plans for industrial action to allow for a new talks process.
Aer Lingus said it would participate in the structure of re-engagement proposed by Ibec and Ictu “on a voluntary and non-binding basis”. Unions are to consider the proposals in the coming days.
Ictu and Ibec said the LRC should make contact with both the unions at Aer Lingus and management at the company as a matter of urgency.
“Having consulted with the ‘technical group’ established by the LRC to assist the talks process and having reviewed all outstanding issues, the chief executive of the commission should report formally to the parties on the outcome of the discussions held to date and give his assessment of the measures needed to achieve a final resolution of those issues where differences remain.”
Under the Ictu/Ibec proposals, the parties would consider this report and give their positions to the LRC.
Ictu and Ibec said outstanding matters should be referred to the Labour Court for an interim recommendation that would set out the main parameters for resolution.