In April 2013, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Irish state is in breach of its obligations under the terms of the EU Insolvency Directive to ensure that employees receive sufficient accrued occupational pension entitlements. The case is currently before the High court and is listed for hearing on January 13th 2015.
In the interim, however, Unite has been invited to refer the case to the Labour Relations Commission under the chairmanship of Kieran Mulvey for mediation, and has accepted the invitation. The case will remain listed for hearing in the High Court in January unless and until a settlement is reached before the LRC.
Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:
“It is over five years since the closure of Waterford Crystal and well over a year since the European Court of Justice ruled that the Irish state had failed to protect the workers’ pension entitlements.
“Since then, the case has been making its way through the Irish courts, with all the delays and uncertainties involved in the legal process. Several former Waterford Crystal workers have died during the past five years without receiving the pensions to which they were entitled.
“Unite will be engaging fully and constructively with the LRC process, and we are hopeful that it will result in a just settlement. If it does not, we will continue to progress the workers’ case before the courts”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.