SIPTU members employed in Tara Mines attended a general meeting in the New Grange Hotel in Navan, county Meath, on Monday (15th May) to discuss a proposed pay deal, the need to renew a drilling licence for the facility and other issues affecting its operation. The meeting endorsed a call by union representatives to meet with Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, to discuss the delay in issuing a renewal of a prospecting drilling licence for the mine which was applied for in December 2022.    SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “The meeting was updated on the outcome of recent discussions with senior management on issues affecting the operation of the mine. One of the main topics discussed was the application for a renewal of a prospecting drilling licence which was made on 29th December, 2022. The continued delay in the renewal process has angered SIPTU members who endorsed a call by union representatives for a meeting with the Minister to discuss the issue.”    He added: “The meeting also discussed the difficulties surrounding the application by the company for access to an EU Energy Fund set up to assist companies in financial difficulties Workers were informed that management has stated it has been told the mine does not qualify for the fund as it is involved in mineral extraction.”    SIPTU Organiser, Andrew McGuinness, said: “A pay proposal resulting from negotiations between union representatives and management at the Workplace Relations Commission of 3% for 12 months and a voucher was discussed at the meeting. The Section Committee has recommended acceptance of the proposal which will now be balloted on by the membership.”     He added: “Overall, the general meeting was productive and informative, with miners relaying some valuable experiences that they believe will assist in tackling some of the operational difficulties highlighted by management at the mine. Members called for all local TDs to express their support for a meeting between the Minister and union representatives.”