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'No U-turn' on bonus at EBS despite protests

THE Government is refusing to reverse its decision to withhold a "bonus" payment worth up to €2,500 to EBS staff.

A Department of Finance spokesman last night insisted there was no "softening" in attitude after 300 workers mounted pickets yesterday.

But pressure is mounting on Finance Minister Michael Noonan after the union umbrella body, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, urged him to intervene.

Mr Noonan said the strike was " regretted" but no new bonuses would be paid at state-owned institutions.

"The Government has consistently informed the banks that no bonuses can be paid. We will not be changing this guidance," he added.

UNITE regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said: "The support of the public on the picket lines has made clear the mood against there being one law for the better-off and another for the rest."

UNITE said sources at the Department of Finance were said to be re-examining the basis on which EBS staff were deprived the payment, while it was paid to managers.

Irish Independent