Date Released: 10 April 2017
Tara Mines workers returned to work at the facility in County Meath on Saturday (8th April) after a six-day sit-in, following the acceptance of proposals on improving the operation of a new underground ambulance system in the mine.
SIPTU Organiser, John Regan, said: “The workers in Tara Mines felt that they had no option but to take action following a management attempt to implement a unilateral change to the operation of the underground ambulance system, which has been in place at the mine for 35 years.
“Following a meeting between management, members of the workplace safety committee and a Senior Inspector from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), proposals were made concerning improvements to the new system. These improvements relate to the communication system and location of ambulances.
“It is the view of the workplace safety committee that the implementation of the new system in conjunction with the improvements proposed does satisfactory deal with the concerns of workers. Union members wish to acknowledge the efforts by the workplace safety committee in bringing this serious matter to a satisfactory conclusion and also express their appreciation to the HSA senior inspector, Pat Griffin, for his role in finding a resolution.”
He added: “SIPTU members support this resolution as an adequate response to the health and safety concerns that were raised by workers last week. The situation has also highlighted the need for proper consultation by management with workers prior to any future changes to key operations in the mine.”
Full-time Safety Representative, Dessie Whelan, said: “The six days of a sit-in could have been avoided. The resolution that was reached on Friday, with the retention of both phone and radio communication for the underground ambulance system, was the same as a proposal tabled by the workplace safety committee in the weeks leading up to the new system going live on 3rd April, an action which triggered the sit-in by workers.”