Saturday 20 January 2018

Over 1,000 Irish Life staff to vote on strike

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Over 1,000 Irish Life workers are expected to ballot for industrial action over fears for their jobs.

Strike action may begin early next month due to the sale of the state-owned life assurance and pensions company.

The UNITE union said voting will begin next week over the company's "failure" to engage with workers on the impact of the move on them.

An emergency staff meeting will be held in Dublin next Tuesday to approve the ballot.

It is understood that one of the chief issues is the redeployment of staff within the group to a new subsidiary.

"Nobody wants to take strike action. Nobody wants to put at risk the supposed €1bn sale of the company," said UNITE Regional Officer Colm Quinlan.

"But make no mistake, no one is willing to be trampled on in the rush towards a change that has been poorly planned and poorly communicated.

"If strike action is what is required to lift management heads from their own post-sale bonuses then strike action is what we will seek next Tuesday."

He claimed management had refused to engage with staff "in any meaningful way" over the last three months.

"We want to know what plans are for jobs," he said.

Talks at the Labour Relations Commission on restructuring collapsed a month ago.

Irish Life claimed the union had refused to attend a hearing at the Labour Court.

"Irish Life has heard of the decision to ballot with regret," said a spokesman.

"It had requested the union would bring the matter to the Labour Court in line with procedures but it has refused."

Irish Independent

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