IMPACT welcomes intervention in Aer Lingus pension dispute

IMPACT, the largest trade union in Aer Lingus, today (Friday) welcomed the ICTU-IBEC intervention in the dispute over pensions in the company and confirmed that it was ready to attend further talks in the Labour Relations Commission and Labour Court.

IMPACT national secretary Matt Staunton said: “This is a significant and welcome development which has the potential to quickly move us towards a resolution based on the needs of the company, the pension scheme and the staff concerned.”

STATEMENT FROM THE IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND IBEC REGARDING THE THREATENED DISPUTE BETWEEN AER LINGUS AND ITS GROUP OF UNIONS OVER PENSION MATTERS

Congress and IBEC have considered the current position in relation to this dispute and believe that solutions need to be urgently found to the current difficulties between the parties. It is clear that the issues at the heart of the dispute are difficult and complex and arise in the context of finding an acceptable solution in Aer Lingus arising from the current Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme and in respect of future pension arrangements.

We note that the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) facilitated intensive discussions with the parties which were adjourned indefinitely on October 25th. The Group of Unions has since issued notice of industrial action to take place on November 19th. In order to find an early resolution we recommend that:

  1. As a matter of urgency IBEC and Congress request that contact be made with both the Group of Unions and the Company by the LRC. 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 LRC, 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.
  2. This report shall be considered by the parties who shall advise the LRC of their stated positions.
  3. Where there are outstanding matters on which agreement still has not been reached the parties are encouraged to utilise the dispute resolution machinery of the State. They should refer those matters to the Labour Court for interim recommendation which would set out the main parameters for resolution of the dispute.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Congress and IBEC will invite the Labour Relations Commission to proceed with the parties on this basis as soon as possible and will remain in close contact with the parties.

9th November, 2012