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2 April 2009 Edition

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SR Technics rejects Labour Court recommendation

SR Technics has rejected a Labour Court recommendation that it make good the deficit in its workers’ pension funds.
The company announced last month that it is to close its plant at Dublin Airport with the loss of around 1,100 jobs. Up to 600 people are set to be let go by the company at the end of this week.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Labour Court advised that SR Technics should make good the shortfall in the company’s defined benefit scheme and also any shortfall in the Irish Airline Superannuation Scheme, to which some SR Technics workers belong.
It said that the ex gratia payment of one week’s pay per year of service which it has offered to staff being made redundant should be effectively doubled in addition to the statutory two weeks’ pay per year of service.
The Labour Court recommended that in view of the imminence of lay-offs that staff should receive payments in lieu of notice, which will run from two to eight weeks pay, depending on length of service.
But the company rejected those recommendations on Tuesday night.
SIPTU described the firm’s response to the Labour Court recommendations as “mean fisted” but not surprising.
Branch organiser Pat Ward said: “In stating that the company should meet the deficit in the employees’ pension funds the Court was doing no more than asking SR Technics to meet its moral and financial obligations to the workers.”
Ward said SR Technics had not only treated its workers with disrespect but the Labour Court and the Labour Relations Commission as well.
“This is a company backed by some of the wealthiest business people in the world, including Mubadala, the sovereign investment vehicle for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, yet it says it can barely afford to pay statutory redundancy to its workers, 60 per cent of which will be refunded by the Irish taxpayer,” he added.
SIPTU said it would consult with its members and the other unions at SR Technics to decide “the most appropriate strategy in the present circumstances”.
SR Technics workers had already offered to take pay cuts in an attempt to save their jobs as part of a management buy-out scheme. SIPTU had called for Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and the IDA to force the company to take the proposals seriously.
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