SIPTU has called for the immediate introduction of pay-related Jobseeker's Benefit to prevent workers like those in Tara Mines "falling into poverty." At a well-attended meeting of Tara Mines workers in SIPTU’s Dan Shaw Centre in Navan on Wednesday, 25th October, public representatives – including councillors, Oireachtas members and the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee – heard about the hardship faced by many workers and their families since the lay-offs began.  At the event, the Union launched a video calling for a pay-related model of social protection to prevent workers from falling into poverty. This model, which is the norm in most EU countries, would guarantee a percentage of average earnings for laid-off workers for defined periods of time.  SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: "In Ireland, you are paid below the poverty line from day one no matter how long you have been paying PRSI. It is simply wrong, and it must be rectified.  "We welcome the commitment by the Government in its recent Budget to introduce a pay-related model in December 2024, but there is no reason why a temporary scheme could not be put in place now in the same way that the PUP payment was introduced during the Covid-19 crisis.  "The proposals by the Government over Tara Mines are not at a sufficiently high level. We are seeking a commitment from all public representatives to support the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) proposal for Jobseeker's Benefit to be increased to 70% of average earnings capped at €550 for a minimum of nine months." SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, commented on the ongoing engagement with Boliden management: "It is simply not tenable for the company to refuse to give a date for the re-opening of the mine on the one hand and then also refuse to engage in redundancy negotiations on the other.  "Unions have stepped up to the plate by tabling sixty-two proposals for improving efficiencies at the mine that could have prevented the lay-offs. It is time for Boliden to show some loyalty to its workforce and halt the state of limbo imposed on their workers. "We are reiterating that the parent board in Sweden must come forward and engage with unions. Sitting on the fence is not acceptable, nor is it a sensible way forward. Finance is required now, both to shore up the future plan and to end the so-called temporary lay-offs at the mine."  At the meeting, councillors from Meath County Council undertook to put forward a motion in support of SIPTU’s campaign.