Stoppage follows decisive vote for action
Dispute centres on unilateral closure of healthy pension scheme
April 2nd: Irish Life is Ireland’s largest pension provider, but Unite members working for the insurance giant are being forced to take industrial action in defence of their own pensions.
Following a decisive vote in favour of industrial action, Unite members will engage in a 24-hour stoppage from 0.01 hours to 23.59 hours on Thursday April 12th.
The dispute centres on the company’s unilateral decision to close its Defined Benefit pension scheme as of June 30th. Overall, the Defined Benefit scheme has over 3300 members, including pensioners and deferred members. The scheme has never been in deficit and currently has a surplus well in excess of €200 million, with assets of around €1.1 billion.
Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said that the decisive vote for industrial action reflected Unite members’ determination to resist Irish Life’s unilateral decision to close a healthy pension scheme, and he warned that the dispute could escalate beyond April 12th if a resolution to the dispute is not found.
“Our members are determined to fight this decision with all means at our disposal. They are well aware that, if one attack on their terms and conditions is allowed to stand, others are likely to follow.
“It is particularly ironic that those working for the country’s largest pension provider are being forced to take industrial action to defend their own pensions. That irony will not be lost on members of the public, and in particular Irish Life customers who look to the company to provide security in retirement.
“Irish Life can avert this strike, and the financial and reputational damage involved, by reversing their unilateral decision to close the Defined Benefit scheme on June 30th. The resolution of this dispute is now in the hands of management.
“Unite remains available for meaningful talks”, Richie Browne concluded.