Date Released: 07 January 2013
SIPTU members at Aer Lingus, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) have welcomed a proposal by the Labour Court for a structured and speedy negotiation process to resolve the crisis in the defined pension scheme at the companies.
Speaking on behalf of the Aer Lingus pensions committee SIPTU Organiser, Dermot O’Loughlin, said:
“The interim recommendation from the Labour Court provides for a structured foundation for a negotiated solution to the long running dispute over the inadequate funding of the pension scheme. It also recommends a robust time-frame within which the negotiation process must be completed.
“It is the unanimous view of the Aer Lingus, DAA and SAA Committees that staff representatives should attend any deliberations that occur within the ‘Technical Group’ that is referred to in the recommendation. This will facilitate efficiency, transparency and accountability.”
He said that there remained a lack of clarity on the benefits that can be derived from the current pension contributions and that members were also opposed to any attempt by the airline to seek ‘cost offsetting measures’ in return for meeting its responsibility to properly fund the pensions scheme.
“We have no difficulty in negotiating pay stability in a manner that reasonably protects the well-being of our members. However, we are not prepared to allow the company to walk away from the agreed defined benefit scheme and to replace it with an inferior scheme in which our members would end up having to subsidise the employer’s contribution as well as paying their own,” Dermot O’Loughlin said.