Business Irish

Thursday 23 January 2020

Former Glanbia workers accuse firm of contract breach in pensions row

Peter Flanagan

THE group of former employees at the centre of a pensions row with Glanbia have hit out at the dairy company, accusing Glanbia of "seeking to disguise a blatant breach of contract as a pension issue".

The 40 former employees of Waterford Foods, who are demanding a cut in their pension be revoked, claim Glanbia breached a contract it signed in 1992.

That contract apparently promised the former staff a 3.5pc annual increase in their pension after retirement in return for foregoing a 4pc pay increase at that time.

On Monday, Glanbia said the changes had come about as part of a 2010 agreement with the company's trustees and all members to help fund a pension fund deficit of €200m. As part of that agreement, future guaranteed increases to pensions in payment for all members were removed.

Yesterday however, the Waterford pensioners, who have an average age of over 71, said they plan to bring legal action against the company to recoup the increase.

"Our dispute is with Glanbia, and is not with the trustees of the Pension Scheme," said a spokesman for the group. "Quite simply, Glanbia has broken a contract it entered into in 1992".

Waterford Foods merged with Avonmore to form Glanbia in 1997.

Irish Independent

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