Pfizer resolves pension dispute at Irish facility

pharmafile | April 5, 2017 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development Ireland, Pfizer, Siptu 

Pfizer and trade union Siptu have reached an agreement over a pension dispute at the company’s plant at Ringaskiddy in County Cork, Ireland.

The company has agreed to allow a further 35 workers to join its non-contributory defined benefit pension plan following talks at the Labour Court, but still maintains that it plans to shut down the scheme to 900 staff, including the 250 at the Irish facility. In its place, Pfizer wants to install a defined contribution alternative.

“The cost to the company of funding these non-contributory DB schemes has risen 1,000% since 2009 and these costs are affecting the competitiveness of the site,” a spokeswoman for Pfizer said.

In the face of the new programme, all staff would receive benefits already accrued. But Siptu, on behalf of the 250 staff at the site, argued that every employee should have an equal opportunity to join the current system.

“The union is pleased with the resolution of the dispute,” Siptu Sector Organiser Alan O’Leary said. “[The staff] felt very strongly that new employees should be treated equally and provided with the exact same terms and conditions of employment as all existing employees”.

O’Leary added that Siptu’s workplace committee will be meeting with union representatives to assess the overall situation regarding the scheme.

Matt Fellows

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