Siptu prepared to go to Sweden to negotiate over Tara Mines

Siptu Prepared To Go To Sweden To Negotiate Over Tara Mines
Temporary layoffs were announced at Tara Mines in Co Meath this week. Photo: Boliden
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Vivienne Clarke

A trade union representative has said he is prepared to go to Sweden and speak with management there about the temporary layoffs announced at Tara Mines this week.

Adrian Kane, a divisional organiser at Siptu, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, that they had met with Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney and had asked him to impress upon the company the need to engage with the trade union.


“We did meet with the company on Wednesday and we had asked them to step back from their position and to engage with us to explore every alternative rather than what they have so far tabled in terms of the lay off of the entire workforce.

“We're meeting with management and whoever their representatives are. We will deal with them and know if we have to go further and meet with the Swedish (management), we will do that. But in the first place, we're going back to re engage with local management and ask them to reflect on their position. And so we'll be in a better position to judge what our next step will be.”

Mr Kane said that the trade union’s priority was to engage with the company, to look at alternatives to what was currently proposed. Everything else was secondary.

“It's hugely problematic that we haven't got a timeline on this and that you go into indefinite layoffs. What we would be trying to do, and we said to the company on Wednesday that we're prepared to sit down with them and explore what alternatives could be put in place other than this nuclear option.


“The reality facing people at the moment, if this were to go ahead, is that their wages would drop significantly. It'd be back down to €200 per week. We have a social protection scheme that doesn't work, that is totally out of line with the rest of Europe. And I think there was some acknowledgment of that by Government with regard to putting in place the PUP payment during the pandemic.

"But we're back down to the system that doesn't work. It's not a pay related social insurance model, which was what its intent was when it was put in place back in the 1970s.

“I think there are alternatives that could be explored rather than a total layoff, that's what we would be trying to effect.”

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