September 17th: Trade union Unite today announced that talks last night at the Labour Relations Commission between the union and EBS management relating to a number of issues had proven successful, and that the threatened escalation of industrial action would not now take place. The announcement was made following a meeting this morning of union representatives to assess the outcome of the talks.
The dispute centred on payment of the so-called 13th month, a contractual element of annual pay which was discontinued in 2011. In a recommendation issued in April, the Labour Court held that this payment comprised a bonus and as such was prohibited following the incorporation of EBS into AIB for the duration of the placing agreement. However, the Court also held that this prohibition did not apply to the 2011 payment, and recommended that the company pay the two weeks still owed for that year. This the EBS/AIB management had failed to do. However, following LRC talks which concluded last night, management agreed to set a date for payment of the outstanding sums. The parties have also agreed that other outstanding issues will be referred to the Labour Court for a binding recommendation.
Commenting, Unite official Colm Quinlan said: “Both parties, together with the Labour Relations Commission, have worked very hard to resolve the outstanding issues and avoid an escalation of industrial action which would have been in no-one’s interests. Unite will continue engaging with management to ensure that workers’ interests are given due priority during the harmonisation process”.