First Trust staff in Belfast miss out on bonuses

Image caption,
About 50 First Trust staff were due to be paid bonuses in December

Almost 50 First Trust staff in Belfast will miss out on a Christmas bonus after parent company AIB was prevented from paying any incentives.

Call centre staff in Belfast, Swords, Naas, the Isle of Man and Jersey were due to share a 2.4m euros payout.

The money was part of an overall package of 40m euros (£33m) AIB planned to pay its staff in backdated bonuses.

However it was blocked after Irish finance minister Brian Lenihan threatened to withhold state funding.

AIB has already had a 3.5bn euros bail-out from the government.

Mr Lenihan said that financial aid would be conditional on the non-payment of bonuses "no matter when they may have been earned".

The Belfast workers were due to receive the bonus in their December salaries.

A spokesman for the bank workers' union, the IBOA, said it was seeking legal advice about AIB's decision not to pay the bonuses.

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