Not content with receiving a bailout of €21bn – without which, the bank would be utterly bust – not content with shoveling €1.1bn into its pension fund last August 2012 – without which, AIB would be in the same position as myriad pension schemes around the country and have to renege on pension benefits – and not content with giving redundant staff five weeks pay per year of service - when staff at Vita Cortex had to fight tooth and nail to get 2.9 weeks, this afternoon we learn via the BBC in Northern Ireland that several AIB staff are to receive GBP 2m (€2.3m) of bonuses and contract-increment payments.
In Northern Ireland’s Court of Appeal, three judges decided that AIB’s defence of economic hardship did not warrant reneging on the performance-related bonuses and contracted-increments. The case is said to involve up to 600 staff at the AIB Northern Ireland unit, First Trust Bank. The bonuses are reported to range from GBP 2,000 to GBP 10,000 per employee. So we’re not talking mega-bucks, but for staff in companies that have gone bust across the State, in some cases not even receiving outstanding pay, these additional payments will stick in the craw.
AIB had lost the original case in Northern Ireland’s employment tribunal and had appealed to the Court of Appeal. The bank official’s union had supported the case taken by the staff.