SIPTU will be liable for strike losses, Aer Lingus warns
AER Lingus has warned trade union SIPTU that it may hold its officials liable for any financial loss sustained by the airline if the union proceeds with any industrial action that may be deemed "unlawful and unwarranted".
The union is due to begin balloting members at Aer Lingus, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and Shannon Airport Authority regarding possible industrial action related to an on-going pension crisis.
Last year, Aer Lingus also threatened that it would hold SIPTU officials and members accountable for as much as €2m a day in expected losses over a strike threat that was also related to the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme (IASS).
The IASS has a deficit of around €800m and attempts to resolve the problem have been going on for over three years.
SIPTU wants Aer Lingus and the DAA to provide more cash than the €200m they've agreed to provide in total to help establish a new defined contribution pension scheme.
The union also wants contributions to the defined benefit IASS scheme to be frozen.
Aer Lingus said it will take legal advice over whether SIPTU is acting outside protection detailed in the Industrial Relations Act.
"Aer Lingus may therefore hold SIPTU and all relevant officers and officials personally liable in respect of any losses sustained by Aer Lingus by reason of any unlawful and unwarranted disruption caused by the purported industrial action," said the airline.
A DAA spokesman said the company has not been formally notified of any planned ballot by SIPTU.