The ICTU Biennial Delegate Conference will tomorrow (Thursday, 6th July) debate an emergency motion calling for an immediate and major intervention by the Government to protect the continued operation of Tara Mines in Navan, county Meath. SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “Discussions with the management of Tara Mines at the Workplace Relations Commission today ended without any substantial progress in relation to the threatened temporary closure of the mine. The talks are scheduled to reconvene on Friday.  “However, it is clear that the only possibility for the continued operation being secured is if there is a major intervention by the Government. Tomorrow, I will be proposing an emergency motion at the ICTU conference calling on the Government to urgently engage with the mine’s owners, Boliden and trade unions to put in place the necessary supports to ensure that the mine remains in production, and workers continue to be paid in full.  He added: “The strategic role that Tara Mines plays in the wider national economy and the importance of zinc as a critical mineral in transitioning to a carbon neutral economy must be considered by the Government.”  SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “The threatened lay-off of these workers has also highlighted the inadequacies of the state’s current social protection system, which is out of line with European norms. Government must also take action on this issue with urgent reform to the social welfare system so that benefits are related to employee contributions and that employers’ rates of contribution are brought closer to the European average.  “We are reaching the very last chance for a serious intervention by the Government in this situation. If a positive way forward is not found the temporary closure will have a devastating impact on the workers, their families and the local economy.”