SIPTU representatives were among a Tara Mines Group of Unions delegation which met with management this morning (Wednesday, 14th June) at Tara Mines, Navan, county Meath, to request that the company reconsider its decision to temporarily cease operations at the facility and lay off staff. SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “Union representatives have requested that Boliden, the Sweden based company which owns the mine, reconsider its decision to place it on a ‘care and maintenance’ footing and lay off more than 600 workers. “Despite some indications that wider economic and market factors were being considered by the company in relation to the operation of the facility, the announcement last night that it would be temporarily closed was still a major shock to all involved at Tara Mines. We would have hoped that the company would have engaged to a greater degree with unions prior to any such decision and we are now calling on it to embark on such an engagement with the aim of maintaining the mine in operation. “Management has said it will reflect on the position of the unions and revert to us as soon as possible. Once we have received this reply, whether it is positive or not, union representatives will begin a wider engagement with our membership on what should be done next.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “As well as engaging with the company and our members, we are seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney and Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan. We believe that both these Ministers could have a key role in creating a situation which protects the long-term future of this strategically important asset, which plays a vital role not only in the economy of the North East region but the island as a whole. “Today was a difficult day for our members at Tara Mines, their families and the wider community in this region. All can be assured that we are committed to doing everything in our power to protect their interests. We will fight for the long term future of Tara Mines in all forums and with all stakeholders.”