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Sunday 31 August 2014

Air travel chaos looms as pension talks stall

Colm Kelpie

Published 26/10/2012 | 05:00

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AIR travellers again face the prospect of disruption after talks between union bosses and Aer Lingus management over a multi-million euro pension deficit broke down.

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The move has sparked fear of industrial action involving ground staff and cabin crew at the airline.

The airline said the Labour Relations Commission had indefinitely adjourned talks between it and the unions on resolving the €750m black hole in the defined benefit scheme, known as the Irish Aviation Superannuation Scheme (IASS).

The scheme also includes workers from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

SIPTU organiser Dermot O'Loughlin: "We have exhausted all appropriate industrial relations processes, and it would appear now that it is inevitable that industrial action will happen in November."

The union's industrial action committee will meet this morning to decide on the timing and form any action. SIPTU added that talks are continuing with the DAA and that there is no threat of industrial action at the airport at the moment.

It is understood talks are continuing between the DAA and unions in relation to the issue.

Aer Lingus wants to freeze pay at the airline for four years in return for a one-off payment into the scheme. It also wants to freeze contributions to the plan.

Asked about how they might minimise disruption should industrial action occur, the airline said it is planning on operating a full schedule.

Irish Independent

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