Dáil debates

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions

Semi-State Bodies Issues

9:50 am

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, Socialist Party) | Oireachtas source

I ask the Minister to expand further on this. In essence he is saying he would love to deal with it and is actively looking, but circumstances are not right at the moment to dispose of the final shareholding in this valuable State asset. Obviously ideologically I do not agree with that in any case and not just from the point of view of the market conditions. This was and is a key employer for thousands of people, providing a good and viable service. Over its lifetime it has served the taxpayer well and severing any links would be incredibly shortsighted.

The Minister referred to a number of key issues and I ask him to enlighten us, particularly on the pension issue. The Minister will be aware that Aer Lingus management even threatened taking legal action against SIPTU for having the cheek even to organise a ballot when the union had assured management there was no question of any strike before Christmas or anything like that because of the stalemate that has been reached in the critical pension negotiations. Has the Minister been in touch with the company on that? Has he expressed his dissatisfaction that the management of a company in which the Government has a sizeable shareholding would behave like that towards its workforce? Has he encouraged it to engage somewhat more given the importance of that issue to the workers and also to the future of the company?


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