Threatened strike over bonuses at EBS averted

Union says management has agreed to set date for payment of controversial bonus

The EBS Building Society company headquarters in Dublin.  A threatened strike  over the payment of a bonus for staff has been averted following talks at the Labour Relations Commission.

The EBS Building Society company headquarters in Dublin. A threatened strike over the payment of a bonus for staff has been averted following talks at the Labour Relations Commission.

Tue, Sep 17, 2013, 16:02

The threat of strike action at EBS, a subsidiary of AIB, over the payment of a bonus for staff has been averted following talks at the Labour Relations Commission.

The trade union Unite said that on foot of talks on Monday management at the company had agreed to set a date for payment of the outstanding amounts.

It said that the parties had also agreed that other outstanding issues would be referred to the Labour Court for a binding recommendation.

In a statement issued following a meeting of Unite representatives on Tuesday the union said that the talks at the Labour Relations Commission had proved to be successful and that threatened industrial action would not now take place.

The dispute centred around the payment of a bonus, known as the 13th month payment, which the union maintained was a contractual element of annual pay but which was discontinued in 2011.

Following a one-day strike in late 2011, half of the bonus was paid to EBS staff.

Earlier this year, the Labour Court ruled that the bonus payment should be discontinued, but that the remainder of the amount due from 2011 should be given to staff.

The union said that the management at EBS/AIB had failed to pay the balance of the 2011 bonus payment as proposed by the Labour Court.

Unite has maintained that the amount outstanding represented the equivalent of two weeks wages for staff.

Unite members at EBS had warned that they would undertake a one-day stoppage at the company by the end of the month if there was no progress in dealing with the dispute ove rthe bonus payment by a deadline of last Monday night.

The union had previously maintained that if pickets were placed, the dispute could spread to selected AIB outlets.

Unite official Colm Quinlan said: “Both parties, together with the Labour Relations Commission, have worked very hard to resolve the outstanding issues and avoid an escalation of industrial action which would have been in no-one’s interests. Unite will continue engaging with management to ensure that workers’ interests are given due priority during the harmonisation process”, Mr Quinlan concluded.

Unite represents around 300 staff at EBS.