SIPTU has rejected claims that the merger of Drogheda, East Meath and Trim credit unions is being held up by workers stating that any delay in the process is due to an unwillingness of management to engage with staff representatives or the State’s industrial relations mechanisms. SIPTU Services Division Organiser, John King, said: “A recent media report implicated ‘staff issues’ as delaying the merger of these three credit unions. The reality is that management has shown a reluctance to meaningfully engage with staff on what a merger will entail. “Rather than negotiate with staff or utilise the State industrial relations mechanisms there has been an attempt to enforce compulsory redundancy on three SIPTU members in the East Meath credit union. SIPTU representatives are anxious to engage in constructive discussions with management to examine other avenues, including redeployment, which could be availed of by these workers before discussing redundancies." He added: “In no way can 'staff issues' be responsible for blocking or slowing the merger process progressing. The Central Bank and the management of the credit unions should now proceed with arrangements for the proposed merger and allow for staffing issues to be dealt with through the appropriate channels. SIPTU members are generally supportive of mergers such as the one proposed as the combined assets of the new body would allow for better service provision for communities and greater job security for workers.”