SIPTU has pledged to continue supporting the campaign to defend workers' pensions at Aer Lingus, the Dublin Airport Authority and the Shannon Airport Authority.

The union's National Executive Council has voted unanimously to support any and all industrial action necessary within the law to combat proposed benefit cuts which it described as savage.

The NEC also undertook to fight all legal proceedings and to provide full representation for any member or official arising from their actions in furtherance of the trade dispute.

Last week, Aer Lingus issued legal proceedings against not just SIPTU but also its Pensions Policy Advisor, Dermot O'Loughlin, in a personal capacity for damages arising from last week's threatened strike, despite the fact that it was called off.

The DAA and Ryanair had also gone to court in a successful bid to stop the strike going ahead.

The SIPTU statement said the aviation pension dispute was now assuming even greater significance in light of several legal actions initiated against the union, which it claimed challenge the democratic right of workers to withdraw their labour in a legitimate trade dispute.

It said the union was confident it could successfully defend any court action against it.

It also stated that the pensions of several thousand workers had evaporated despite the fact that they had paid for them all their working lives.