ESB pensions most in ‘precarious’ state

Brendan Ogle, secretary of the ESB trade union group.
A senior trade unionist has dismissed guarantees that ESB pensions are secure.

A senior trade unionist has dismissed guarantees that ESB pensions are secure.

Brendan Ogle, secretary of the ESB trade union group also questioned the stance taken by Senator John Whelan on taking ‘categorical’ assurances that the pensions were safe.

Last week the Leinster Express reported that Sen Whelan claimed that he had received assurance from the Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte in the senate that the pension scheme was “safe, secure and robust”.

In response, Mr Ogle said he had “no doubt” but that Sen Whelan intended to be “helpful”. However, Mr Ogle said the Laois senator had represented Minister Rabbitte’s assurance as “ more expansive and informed that they actually were”.

“If Sen Whelan said the pensions are safe - the pensions are safe. If Sen Whelan says the earth is flat - the earth is flat. The unions are involved in commercial court action and industrial court action on the basis that the pensions of staff at the ESB are in a very precarious situation. Mr Ogle said he had been unable to contact Sen Whelan to clarify matters.