SIPTU representatives have expressed disappointment at the Labour Court referring issues related to the temporary closure of Tara Mines, county Meath, back to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in a decision published today (Tuesday, 2nd January). SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “We are disappointed but not surprised that the Labour Court has decided to refer all four outstanding issues back to the WRC conciliation services, following its hearing on 18th December, 2023. This mirrors what happened the last time Tara Mines was placed into care and maintenance in 2001.” He added: “The main issues on which agreement is still being sought are the date for recommencement of operations at the mine and a claim for voluntary redundancy terms for workers who wish to take this option. Both issues are of urgent importance to our members. Workers in the mine have been laid off for 142 days with no clear date identified by the company for a return to work. This not only affects the 650 direct employees but also the approximately 2000 indirect workers who rely on the operation of Tara Mines for an income.” SIPTU Organiser, Andrew McGuinness, said: “Tara Mines Group of Unions representatives will be seeking to secure a definitive date for recommencement of operations at the mine from management at a WRC conciliation conference scheduled for the 9th January. “During the WRC process we will also seek agreement on voluntary redundancy terms for workers. Our members have been left in a financial limbo. This must be brought to a satisfactory conclusion, as it is not only affecting them but also their families and the local economy in the north Meath area and beyond.”