SIPTU shop stewards at Aer Lingus will meet tomorrow to decide whether to call off a two-hour stoppage at the airline scheduled for Monday next.
They will consider a number of clarifications issued by ICTU and IBEC in a bid to avert industrial action.
Last Friday, IBEC director of Industrial Relations Brendan McGinty and ICTU official Liam Berney jointly proposed a five-point plan aimed at getting the stoppage called off and the recommencement of negotiations.
While the IMPACT union welcomed Friday's proposals, SIPTU argued that they did not go far enough and yesterday refused to call off Monday's stoppage.
Up to now, SIPTU has insisted it will not discuss Aer Lingus demands for productivity concessions in return for any contributions to plug the pension deficit.
However, Aer Lingus remains adamant that there cannot be contributions without cost offsetting measures.
In SIPTU's letter seeking clarification, they had asked whether the ICTU/IBEC intermediaries were in a position to remove that obstacle from the talks.
In today's response, Mr McGinty and Mr Berney said their proposal to the parties is only concerned with a process that helps the parties to avoid industrial action and find an acceptable solution.
They say it is a matter for the parties to put forward their own issues through their participation in the process.
They added that they did not impose pre-conditions on what issues should or should not be tabled by any party in finding a solution.
Asked about whether the DAA - which shares the pension scheme with Aer Lingus - would be involved in the five-point plan, Mr McGinty and Mr Berney say their proposals are aimed at avoiding industrial action at Aer Lingus and that they understand that union discussions with the DAA have been continuing positively.
Responding to SIPTU's query about a timeframe, ICTU and IBEC say they do not prescribe a timeframe but that they understand all parties are anxious to reach a conclusion within the shortest time possible.
It is not yet known whether the clarifications will be enough to warrant SIPTU calling off Monday's stoppage to enter talks.
Aer Lingus has estimated that if the industrial action goes ahead, it will cost the airline up to €2m.