SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to expedite measures to protect the livelihoods of members employed at Tara Mines and the long-term future of the facility in county Meath, following a meeting with ministers this afternoon (Monday, 3rd July). SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “Trade union representatives met with a government delegation which included the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, and Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, this afternoon.   “The meeting was called by unions in order to make clear to the Government that measures must be introduced to safeguard the livelihoods of our members and ensure the long-term future of Tara Mines.    “It was clear from the meeting that the Government is committed to exploring what measures it can take to provide financial assistance to this essential economic asset. However, due to EU prohibitions on certain types of state aid this will be a complex task and it is extremely unlikely any measures can be in place prior to the scheduled temporary closure of the mine on 14th July.”   He added: “The union representatives also raised the issue of enhanced social protection measures for our members in the event of a lay off situation. Currently, Ireland has a social protection system outside of the European mainstream which does not include a payment of a percentage of a workers’ previous earnings.    “The Government has committed to continuing engagement with unions on these matters which will involve all relevant departments.”   SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “Boliden, the owners of Tara Mines, has yet to present to unions with a satisfactory outline of what it envisages providing its employees in terms of a retainer and other payments in the event of a lay off. This is a completely unacceptable situation and does not bode well in terms of where this dispute is heading.”   Tara Mines unions and management will meet for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission tomorrow (Tuesday, 4th July) morning.