Varadkar: Solution to pensions dispute 'a simple one'

The Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has urged SIPTU, Aer Lingus and the country's airports to reach a quick deal over a pensions dispute.

SIPTU is balloting members over whether to pursue industrial action over a deficit in the pension scheme shared by Aer Lingus and the three major airports.

The minister says any disruption to air travel - especially during the Six Nations and St Patrick's Day - would be damaging to the country.

He says all sides know what the likely outcome will be so the parties should skip a strike and reach a deal now.

He said: "The problem with the pension fund is like the problems in so many pension funds.

"The amount of money being paid in by the company and the members over the years doesn't match the promises that were given or the expectations that currently exist, so the decision is a simple one.

"The company's going to have to put in more money and the pensioners and members will to have to accept reduced benefits and that solution will be arrived at at some point, so ideally let's avoid a strike in the meantime."

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