ESB strike would be out of proportion – Energy Minister

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The Energy Minister says any strike by staff at ESB would be “out of proportion” with the scale of the pension dispute at the company.
Pat Rabbitte last night asked the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) to intervene in a final effort to avert strike action and power outages in the run-up to Christmas.
Both sides will begin talks at the LRC today but all negotiations so far have failed to resolve the row over the 1.6 billion euro hole in the company’s pension fund.
Energy and Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte says any disruption of the country’s electricity supply would be a step too far.
“In the nature of things – and if the regulator’s yardstick is that the scheme will be back in surplus by 2018, and nobody in the interim suffers any diminution of pension entitlements – then it seems to me there’s plenty of time to deal with any related…issues” he said.
The threat of even a temporary stoppage of one hour is out of proportion” he added.

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