MANAGEMENT and unions at Shannon Aerospace are on a collision course over a pension scheme row that could see work stoppages begin next month.
Members of Siptu have “overwhelmingly” backed a ballot for industrial action that sees a ban on overtime introduced with immediate effect. An initial four-hour work stoppage is pencilled in for Tuesday, March 4.
The union has warned of rolling work stoppages should management “refuse to enter negotiations on the issues of concern”.
Shannon Aerospace, which employs 500 people, announced earlier this month that it was ceasing its contributions to a defined benefit pension scheme and would instead pay into a defined contribution scheme, where the amount paid out to pensioners is more vulnerable to stock market fluctuations. Workers have cried foul, stating the defined benefit scheme is currently fully funded and will remain so for the next five years.
Siptu organiser Tony Carroll stated: “The workers were left with no option but to commence a campaign of industrial action in order to secure their pension entitlements. The workers’ pension scheme is fully funded and the company is in profit. There is no reason why members should be denied their full entitlements from a scheme into which they have paid.”
The company has pledged that it will continue to make the same rate of contributions - but into a defined contribution scheme.
It has expressed its concerns over the long-term viability of the defined benefit scheme and urged staff to transfer to the new scheme to ensure “optimum transfer values”.