9 August 2007 Edition
Nuacht na nOibrithe
Bookbinding workers suspicious of employers
The sit-in at Reilly Bookbinders in County Wicklow is continuing this week despite being offered their jobs back by their employers after they were told last week that they must be let-go as the company is insolvent. The company originally planned to outsource the work of the fourteen employees occupying the canteen to the Czech Republic but they have now said that these plans will not go ahead. A representative of the workers’ union SIPTU, Shane McKean said that the company’s offer to keep their operations in Ireland and offer the jobs back to the employees came as a “complete surprise”. “They were shocked and more than a little angry to say the least. Last week they were told the company was insolvent and they no longer had a job. Now they are being told the company is solvent and they can have their jobs back. All trust has now broken down,” McKean continued.
ESB unions discuss strike
Trade unions representing workers in ESB met this week to consider strike action over ESB plans to reform the electricity market. Last march proposals were put forward in a White Paper on energy to transfer some ESB assets and ownership of the national transmission grid to another company Eirgrid. The workers in ESB currently own 5% of the company, its assets and the national transmission system. A decision is expected in the Autumn after all meetings have been conducted between the unions and Minister for Communications and Energy Eamon Ryan. Sinn Féin spokesperson on workers rights, Arthur Morgan TD has said they will support any plans to fight privatisation of the ESB.
Xerox staff to be laid off
Employees in the Ballycoolin industrial estate Xerox plant in Blanchardstown, County Dublin this week expressed anger at the company’s plans to redeploy staff abroad or leave them facing redundancy. The company have continued to hire staff throughout negotiating the deal to outsource staff to IBM. 900 jobs will be affected by the outsourcing to IBM who in turn will transfer these jobs overseas over the next 18 to 24 months. Staff have complained that there are unnecessarily strict terms and conditions to the redundancy deals and it is unclear whether redundancy will be available to those who do not wish to relocate abroad.
Strike ballot for Tayto workers
Staff at the Tayto factory in Tandragee, County Armagh are to hold a ballot on strike action in a dispute over pay this week. Staff are represented by Unite trade union who have said that 130 workers have been told they will only receive one pay increase in October to bring their pay in-line with minimum wage increases. Sean McKeever, a spokesperson for the union has said that staff are angry as Tayto management will not negotiate with them. A spokesperson for Tayto has said that “Our intention is to pay a 3.1% pay increase in October 2007.”
70 Layoffs in cider plant
C&C cider-making company are planning 70 temporary layoffs in their Clonmel plant after the poor weather in Britain led to a severe downturn in sales. Four weeks notice has been given to the staff and management are insisting that these layoffs are definitely temporary. 650 people are employed in the plant in total.