Siptu’s 350 members at Shannon Aerospace are to ballot for industrial action at the end of this week.
This follows the German-owned firm confirming, yesterday, it had ceased making contributions to the defined benefit pension scheme.
The dispute between the aircraft maintenance firm and Siptu over the scheme has already been subject to a Labour Court recommendation last month urging the sides to negotiate over a two-month period on the company’s proposal to replace its defined benefit pension scheme with a defined contribution one.
The Labour Court recommended that in the negotiations the parties should explore the possibility of providing a compensatory arrangement in the event of agreement being reached.
The court also recommended the company continue to fund the defined benefit scheme during the proposed negotiations.
However, last week, Siptu balloted members on the Labour Court recommendation with 92% of those who voted rejecting the recommendation.
Five hundred are employed at the Shannon-based facility and Siptu spokesman Tony Carroll said yesterday the defined benefit pension scheme at the firm “is fully funded and the firm is profitable.
“The bottom line is that the defined benefit pension scheme is a condition of employment at Shannon Aerospace,” he said.
Mr Carroll confirmed that workers would be balloted for industrial action on Friday.
The result is expected to be known towards the middle of next week.
Shannon Aerospace yesterday confirmed it accepted the Labour Court recommendation and said that despite its acceptance “Shannon Aerospace Ltd wasunable to agree a framework for talks with employee representatives on the pension issue, so from February 4, pension contributions from the company will be made on a defined contribution basis”.
The company statement stressed it was committed to maintaining current pension cash contributions for each employee but said it could not sustain the costs associated with the defined benefit scheme.
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