IBEC has withdrawn from the terms of the national pay agreement.
The Transitional Agreement reached in September of last year provided for wage increases totalling 6% over 21 months.
However, in a letter to members yesterday, the employers’ body said that following its national council decision in November, it has held informal discussions with ICTU to seek to agree a suspension of the pay terms of the agreement and “an alternative that is appropriate to the prevailing economic and commercial environment in 2010”.
The current agreement is due to expire at national level at the end of this year.
Director general Danny McCoy said in the letter that not having agreed such a suspension with unions, IBEC is giving effect to its decision to withdraw from participation in the pay terms of the agreement.
He said this agreement is “wholly unsuited to our economic circumstances”.
“Given the unprecedented scale of job losses in 2009 and the prospect of further losses in 2010, it is clear that we need to restore competitiveness for economic recovery,” he said.
Mr McCoy said the consequence of this decision is that IBEC is entering a period of enterprise level bargaining in unionised employments.
“We remain strongly committed to social dialogue at national level and a stable industrial relations environment in the private sector. IBEC is inviting Congress to meet as soon as possible in January to agree: measures for the orderly conduct of industrial relations in the private sector; a bilateral response to the economic crisis; and measures to preserve and create employment.”
He said members can be assured of the support, advice and representation from IBEC in the period ahead.
“We will also brief the Government, the Labour Court and the Labour Relations Commission on the implications of our decision. We advise members to ensure that they continue to comply with any in-house collective agreements and locally agreed dispute resolution procedures.”
Mr McCoy finished the letter saying it has been an extremely difficult year for business.
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