Fresh talks break down on averting airport strike
TALKS aimed at resolving a pensions row that threatens to shut the country's air access in coming weeks have broken down without agreement.
Officials from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and management from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) met in an effort to thrash out a resolution to prevent strike action next month.
But the DAA claimed that ICTU "failed to engage in any meaningful discussion" regarding proposals from the trustee of the troubled Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme (IASS), and recommendations agreed to last year at the Labour Court.
The DAA has also urged ICTU and SIPTU "not to threaten unnecessary disruption".
SIPTU has threatened that strike action could be initiated in the run-up to St Patrick's weekend. Union officials are due to meet Aer Lingus today.
The IASS has a deficit of more than €700m. The trustee is proposing that retired members take a cut of between 10pc and 20pc in their entitlements and that active members see their accrued benefits cut by as much as 20pc.
ICTU has already said that the proposed €140m Aer Lingus contribution agreed at the Labour Court, and the nearly €60m that the DAA agreed to provide to kick-start new defined contribution pension schemes at their respective companies is not enough.
The DAA claimed that ICTU's position at the meeting yesterday went "far beyond the terms" of the Labour Court recommendation in seeking funding from the company to provide pension benefits which "are not sustainable". It added that it was available to re-enter discussions to achieve a sustainable and equitable resolution.