Aer Lingus strike threat 'recedes'
The threat of industrial action at Aer Lingus later this month appeared to be receding last night following the intervention of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the employers’ body Ibec.
Staff at Aer Lingus are scheduled to undertake a two-hour work stoppage on Monday November 19th as part of a dispute over how to tackle of €748 million deficit in the pension scheme which covers employees at the airline and at the Dublin Airport Authority.
Talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) on the dispute broke down a fortnight ago.
New proposals to try to avert the threatened industrial action were put forward today by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the employers’ body Ibec.
The union and employers’ organisations urged staff at Aer Lingus to withdraw plans for industrial action over pensions to allow for a new talks process to take place.
Aer Lingus said it would participate in the structure of re-engagement proposed by Ibec and Congress on a voluntary and non-binding basis.
Congress and Ibec said that as a matter of urgency the LRC should make contact with both the group of unions at Aer Lingus and management at the company.
“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 Congress/Ibec proposals, the parties would consider this report and give their positions to the LRC.
Congress/Ibec said outstanding matters should be referred to the Labour Court for interim recommendation which would set out the main parameters for resolution of the dispute.
"The recommendation of the Labour Court should then be considered by the LRC ‘technical group’, with a view to finalising the design of the new pension arrangements. The outcome will then be considered by the parties in conjunction with their respective stakeholders. Any residual outstanding matters can be referred back to the Labour Court as necessary for final recommendation as part of a composite and definitive solution."
“Both parties should cooperate fully with the above process and engage meaningfully with a view to finding a speedy resolution. As a result the group of unions should withdraw the notice of industrial action.”