Resolution of ESB dispute an important victory for workers

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald TD has this evening welcomed the agreement reached between management and workers at ESB regarding the company’s pension scheme.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Today’s resolution of the ESB pension dispute is good news for the workers, and indeed for the company’s customers.

“Of course the truth is workers and their union representatives should not have had to issue strike notice in the first place for this matter to have been resolved.

“The unilateral decision of ESB management to redefine the workers pension from a Defined Benefit to a Defined Contribution scheme was wrong, and the Labour Relations Commission’s resolution issued this evening validates the workers action in this regard.

“By redefining the scheme management transferred all of the pension liability to workers over night, most of whom are not entitled to a state pension. Facing the prospect of a pension worth just €13 a week workers were left with no option but to issue strike notice.

“Government inaction cannot go unmentioned. Government Ministers have been aware of the impending dispute for months now. Despite holding the majority of the shares in the company on behalf of the state government stood idly by. Over recent weeks Labour Ministers Joan Burton and Pat Rabbitte have made particularly unhelpful comments.

“Today’s victory for ESB workers should act as a wake-up call to all employers who are seeking to walk away from their contractual obligations to company pension schemes. Sinn Féin stood squarely behind the workers and we recognise today’s development as a good day for workers’ rights and for trade union membership.” ENDS

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