IMPACT and other unions at Aer Lingus withdrew notice yesterday (Wednesday) of industrial action at the airline, which had been due to take place next Monday (19th November).
This follows the joint Ictu/IBEC five point plan with recommendations to resolve the pensions dispute through the state’s resolution mechanisms. The plan was put to all parties late last week.
In a circular to members, national secretary Matt Staunton explained that all of the unions (IMPACT, TEEU, Siptu and Unite) have indicated that they are prepared to enter into a negotiations process.
Aer Lingus indicated last weekend that it would participate in the five point process, including co-operation with Labour Court intervention. Matt explained that the company’s agreement to enter the process meant that the legal basis for the day of action had expired as its objective had been achieved. Previously, the company had emphatically refused to attend a full hearing of the Labour Court.
Matt added “Foremost in our minds is the need to have an agreed solution in place prior to the regulator (the Pensions Board) forcing the Trustees to act on the deficit early in the New Year. The pension scheme and the proposed rescue plan is of such a complex nature that no time between now and then can be wasted.”
The latest developments had been discussed the IMPACT’s Cabin Crew executive committee, IAESA officers, and the Divisional Executive Committee (DEC) who, under the union’s rules, make the final decision.
Matt also clarified the union’s position in relation to efforts by the airline to link resolution of the pensions issue to cost containment and pay issues beyond the current cost savings programme (‘Greenfield’). Matt said that throughout the talks process IMPACT had rejected efforts to link these issues, and would continue to do so.