Government must tackle pensions

The ESB strike has been averted. The unions have claimed a landslide victory but the truth is there was never a case for industrial action in the first place.

And if the management climbed down then it is because the Government told them this was all crazy and it would cause terrible damage to the country.

The revelation by The Sunday Business Post that the ESB pension fund is in good health and getting healthier really meant that both sides had to climb down and stop this nonsense.

For as ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said earlier in the week: “electricity is an essential service affecting so many aspects of peoples’ lives. We must all do everything we can to resolve the issues that have been raised in order to avoid any disruption.

“We owe it our customers, to Irish businesses and the general public to ensure that we resolve these issues without the disastrous consequences of a strike.”

ESB management and staff enjoy the best working conditions and the best salaries in the country.

They also enjoy the best pension benefits. Everybody else has had to give up the defined benefit pension scheme, but not the ESB. And we were all going to suffer because of this.

The rest of the working population do not have the muscle that the ESB trade unions have, so does that mean we have less rights as citizens? The real

issue here is the erosion of pension rights in general, the lack of fairness, and the Government’s levies on pensions and contributions. The Government is failing here.


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