ESB workers call off strike threat

The Energy Minister says the row over the terms of the deal between ESB unions and management is just a “hiccup” which will not lead to strikes before Christmas.

The Labour Relations Commission last night announced that the dispute over the 1.6 billion euro hole in the company’s pension fund has been settled – with all pensions protected and underwritten in a “defined benefit scheme”.

ESB management says there will be no impact on the company’s balance sheet – but the unions say that’s not the case.

Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte says the disagreement is a matter for the LRC to solve:

“Since the agreement was entered into and since the threat of industrial action was lifted, a hiccup seems to have developed in terms of the interpretation of the agreement” he said.

“I repeat that’s a matter for the Labour Relations Commission – it is not a matter for me, I was not in the room at the time”.

“The Labour Relations Commission hammered out the agreement, and I’m sure the Labour Relations Commission or the Labour Court – or both can interpret what it says” he added.

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