SIPTU members currently on strike at Tim Hastings Volkswagen in Westport, County Mayo, have called on management to withdraw a misleading statement issued to the media yesterday (Thursday, 23rd February) concerning redundancies at the company. SIPTU Organiser, Ashling Dunne, said: “Following inquires to the company from RTE and other media outlets, management issued a statement which gives an inaccurate account of the issues in this dispute, which resulted in strike action beginning on 3rd February last. In its statement, the company says that workers ‘who accepted their redundancy were paid their full statutory entitlements’. It adds ‘that some others have thus far refused to accept redundancy payments’. “The reality is that during 2016 a number of workers accepted a voluntary redundancy package offered by the company. Some other workers who sought this package were refused it. In August 2016, the company implemented the compulsory redundancy of three of our members in the garage. The process by which these workers were selected to be made redundant was not agreed, transparent or acceptable. “After initially refusing, the company agreed to attend the Labour Court following a vote for strike action by our members. The Labour Court issued a recommendation that one of the workers made redundant be given the choice of returning to his employment or accept an ex-gratia redundancy payment. An ex-gratia redundancy payment was also recommended for the two workers whose positions were genuinely made redundant. To date, none of the three workers targeted for compulsory job losses have received any redundancy payments, either statutory or ex-gratia.” She added: “The issue at the centre of this dispute is the refusal of Tim Hastings Volkswagen to implement a recommendation of the Labour Court concerning these compulsory redundancies. The failure of the company to accept a Labour Court recommendation is a fundamental issue which, if not reversed, calls into question the operation of the State’s industrial relations institutions. SIPTU representatives are available at any time to discuss with management the implementation of the Labour Court recommendation. For the sake of clarity, we are also calling on the company to withdraw its misleading statement concerning the dispute.” SIPTU members from across the country will attend a rally in Westport, County Mayo, on Saturday, 4th March, to show their support for the strike action at Tim Hastings Volkswagen.