THE largest trade union at the Bank of Ireland is to ballot 7,000 staff for industrial action.
The Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) will ask staff in the bank’s offices in the Republic and Britain to engage in what it described as “limited industrial action” in protest at the bank’s plans to withhold €24 million in staff share bonuses.
This action may include overtime bans or short work stoppages up to but not including strike action.
The ballot will be held over the next two weeks and the union is hoping to coordinate any action for July 8, the day of the bank’s annual general meeting.
The dispute arose after the bank’s senior executives recommended the stock issue for its 16,000 employees be cut from 6% to 3%.
That would mean a €1,500 reduction in the bonus for the average bank official earning €50,000.
“For staff, this is the final straw in a litany of recent developments in Bank of Ireland which have seriously eroded their confidence in the current senior management team,” said Larry Broderick of the IBOA.
“Bank of Ireland staff have already given the required productivity under the Strategic Transformation Programme. Indeed the bank’s senior management was boasting to investors and shareholders in the preliminary results issued two weeks ago that the STP is now delivering annualised cost savings to the bank of €147 million a year.”
A Bank of Ireland spokesman said the IBOA decision was disappointing. He said the 3% award was “fair and equitable for all stakeholders” in the bank.
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