Date Released: 25 April 2013
The National Executive Council of SIPTU has welcomed the ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that the State is in breach of its obligations to ensure that the former employees of Waterford Crystal receive sufficient accrued occupational pension entitlements following their employer’s insolvency.
The ECJ found that the State is in breach of its obligations under the terms of the EU Insolvency Directive to ensure that employees receive sufficient accrued occupational pension entitlements.
The NEC has also congratulated the workers of Waterford Crystal and their union, Unite, whose pursuit of their pension rights following the insolvency of the company in 2009, led to the ECJ judgement.
The court action, which was supported by SIPTU, was taken by the workers after the value of their occupational pensions collapsed in the wake of the insolvency.
“We in SIPTU are very glad to have been associated with the success of the Waterford Crystal workers and Unite which could have positive implications for many workers across the country who are covered by occupational pension schemes,” General President, Jack O’Connor, said.
“Indeed, it demonstrates the potential of collaboration between unions on issues of key importance to working people. We now call on the Government to waste no time and to act on this judgement immediately by taking steps to change the regulatory infrastructure governing defined benefit pensions so schemes are not forced to close or are diluted by reason of the current arrangements.
“The Government must also proceed to establish a mechanism to serve as a backstop for defined benefit pension schemes which are under threat,” he said.