LONDON Oct 31 Irish airline Aer Lingus
said it was "at a loss to undersrand" why staff plan to go on
strike next month in a dispute over a pension fund shortfall.
Unions representing administrative staff as well as cabin
crew estimated on Tuesday that up to 3,000 workers might join
the first of what could be a series of stoppages to force the
airline to stump up more cash.
"Aer Lingus believes that its proposal comprehensively and
sustainably addresses pension provision for affected Irish
Airlines Superannuation Scheme (IASS) members (including Aer
Lingus employees) and is based upon prudent investment and other
assumptions," the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.
In the event on strike action being taken, the airline said
it may hold "union groups and all relevant officers and
officials personally liable in respect of the losses" sustained
by Aer Lingus.
The Aer Lingus staff pension scheme, which also covers
workers at the Dublin Airport Authority, had a 700 million euros
($904 million) deficit at the end of last year.
Aer Lingus says it is not obliged to pay more into the fund
but has been holding talks with unions for months about the
shortfall in an effort to avoid industrial action.