ESB unions are holding country to ransom - IBEC
Employers group makes accusations after threats of industrial action before Christmas
THE Employers' Group IBEC today accused unions of holding the country to ransom by threatening industrial action over the festive season.
Unions at the ESB formally served notice of industrial action on the company yesterday.
Industrial action may begin on December 16 unless agreement is reached in a dispute over pensions.
The ESB argues it has no further liability for deficits in pensions following a restructuring in 2010.
However, unions insist responsibility continues to lie with the company and threatened to take industrial action unless the dispute is resolved.
IBEC chief executive Danny McCoy yesterday said the strike risk is already causing disruption.
And he said the prospect of power cuts has forced some business to take emergency staffing measures to cope with a strike.
Mr McCoy said unions had "seized the opportunity" to hold industrial action on the day after Ireland's exit from the EU/ECB/IMF bailout on 15 December.