SIPTU Organiser, Stephen Lewis, said: “Union members have been conducting a strike at this plant since 17th August in a dispute resulting from an attempt by management to unfairly select workers for layoff. The dispute has now been escalated by management with a threat to sack workers if they do not concede to a demand to return to work on undefined changed terms and conditions.
“This threat was relayed to our members in a letter delivered to their homes by taxi. The letter states the company will not engage directly with the workers’ representatives. It further states that the company is considering the implementation of compulsory redundancies if workers do not return to work and accept undefined changes to their terms and conditions.”
He added: “The dispute at the plant began in June when management gave eight days’ notice that it intended to temporarily close the facility. This period left union representatives with insufficient time to enter into a consultation process with management to minimise the impact the shutdown would have on our members. Workers have expressed serious concerns relating to issues such as pay, shift rates, pension payments and sick pay resulting from a temporary plant shutdown.”
SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin, said: “The continued intransigence of management, including a refusal to directly engage with union representatives or the Workplace Relations Commission, is responsible for the continuation of this dispute.”
She added: “The threatening letter which was sent to our members clearly indicates that management remain opposed to a just solution to the dispute. In response, members of SIPTU and Unite have decided to return their copies of this letter to management. This indicates their clear rejection of the company’s threats and its proposal that they return to work on unclear and undefined terms.”