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Ó Caoláin backs Amicus strikers

15 November, 2006


Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has expressed his support for Amicus workers at Bank of Ireland who are taking part in a one day strike against proposed changes to the company pension scheme.

 

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: “It is nothing short of obscene that a company like Bank of Ireland, which recorded profits of €1.5 billion in March, an increase of over 31% on the preceding year, is determined to undermine the pension security of its employees.

 

“I want to commend the workers of the Amicus union, who voted by over 90% for industrial action, for the courageous action they are taking today to prevent the emergence of a two-tier pension system for new staff. Every effort was made by the union to resolve the dispute in the two weeks since industrial notice was served. But Bank of Ireland’s insistence on introducing new arrangements in conflict with previous recommendations from the Labour Relations Commission meant worker’s were left with no choice but to proceed.”

 

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Following a 93% vote in favour of industrial action by Amicus' 500 members in Bank of Ireland, workers will take strike action at the bank's head office on Baggot Street on 15 November. A further stoppage is planned for the offices at New Century House in the IFSC on 22 November.

The dispute centres on the bank's decision to close its defined benefit pension scheme and open up a different scheme for new staff. The new scheme will be considerably weaker and lead to a two-tier pension system. In March, Bank of Ireland announced profits of over €1.5 billion, an increase of 31% on the preceding year.

The Irish Bank Officials Association, which represents around 8,000 Bank of Ireland workers, has decided to hold off on strike action pending a Labour Court hearing into the situation.

 

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