December 8th: Unite, the largest union represented in the ESB, this evening welcomed the resolution of the dispute mediated by the Labour Relations Commission. Unite official Richie Browne, a member of the Group of Unions’ negotiating team, said that – thanks to the determined and collective action of unions working together – ESB workers could now rest assured that their pension scheme would be treated and accounted for as a Defined Benefit scheme, and they could thus look forward to income security in retirement.
“This dispute was always about one thing and one thing only: the workers’ demand that the ESB reverse the unilateral changes to its accounting procedures which showed the workers’ Defined Benefit pension scheme as a Defined Contribution arrangement, thus transferring all of the risk onto ESB workers.
“Thanks to the intervention of the Labour Relations Commission, we now have an assurance that the scheme will henceforth be accounted for and described as a Defined Benefit scheme.
“The unions were given an overwhelming mandate by workers to use all means in our power to achieve that aim, and we have done so. Once again it has been demonstrated that workers’ rights can best be vindicated by acting collectively through a trade union”, Mr Browne concluded.