Industrial Court in Northen Ireland award collective bargaining rights for AIB Level four and five members.

29 February 2024

Overwhelming majority of staff vote in favour of collective bargaining rights.

John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union has welcomed the decision by the Industrial Court in Northern Ireland to award collective bargaining rights to staff working at level four and five in AIB.

The Financial Services Union  had asked the Industrial Court to intervene after months of negotiations with AIB have failed to reach a resolution. The Industrial Court held a ballot of  relevant members and announced today that over 96% of  members who returned their ballot voted in favour of the right to be collectively bargained for by their trade union.

Commenting on the result John O’Connell said:

This is a landmark decision from the Industrial Court which requires AIB to collectively negotiate with the FSU on pay and  hours of work and holidays for staff working at level four and five in AIB. The FSU already have collectively bargaining rights for the majority of workers in AIB and this decision ensures others will now have stronger workplace protections. I want to commend all the staff who participated in the ballot for placing their trust in the FSU and to the staff of the FSU who never faltered in their pursuit of justice and fairness for these members throughout this lengthy process.

Commenting Billy Barret, Senior Industrial Relations Officer with the FSU said:

“The outcome of the ballot  shows  workers in AIB Group irrespective of their Level want the Union to negotiate on their behalf.

It also shows  where Unions negotiate for workers there are no major negative implications for employers and that workers are aware of the massive positive implications that Union membership can bring about in the workplace.

The FSU will now commence engagement with our level four and five members in ROI and GB seeking their support for a similar campaign to ensure collective bargaining for them. We will be meeting with our Level four and five working group to agree next steps on the journey to ensure that all workers at level four and five in AIB Group are collectively bargained. “

In conclusion John O’Connell said:

“This decision and process is not currently possible in the Republic of Ireland. It highlights the inadequate and antiquated industrial relations mechanism that currently exist in the Republic of Ireland.

“A worker centric transposition of the EU Directive on Minimum wage is vital to promote collective bargaining in the Republic of Ireland and to having an industrial relations system that is open, transparent and protects workers.  It is incumbent on the Government to support workers and their families and introduce legislation that will encourage and promote collective bargaining.”