25 July 2002 Edition

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Glass workers march for fair redundancy

The Irish Glass workers held a march on Saturday demanding that the Ardagh company pays the Labour Relations Court recommendation of five weeks per year of service to each worker.

The march assembled at Liberty Hall and proceeded to Leinster House, where a letter of protest was handed in to the government, and then to the offices of the Tanaiste where another protest letter was presented.

At the GPO on O'Connell Street, a number of union representatives and political representatives spoke.

Sinn Féin's Daithí congratulated the crowd for turning out in such a large numbers. He mentioned the significance of the demonstration starting at the statue of James Connolly and ending up in the shadow of Jim Larkin's statue, two men who fought for workers' rights in 1916. He reaffirmed Sinn Féin's dedication to the glass workers' cause.

Other speakers included the leader of the Socialist Party, Joe Higgins, Green Party TD John Gormley and Jerry Lynch, the union representative for the workers.

On Friday of last week, under pressure from the American Embassy, Ardagh agreed to remove all glass products from the now closed plant and sell them to their customers. This sale should net up to €12 million, which will be ringfenced and put into a trust for the workers.

The workers are still only being offered a half week's pay for every year of service, however. Daithí Doolan is calling for the legislation that allows companies to get away with only paying statutory redundancy money to be updated, providing five weeks pay for all workers.

The TWU is calling for all their members to 'withdraw their labour' for one hour in support of the workers, an action which, if it takes place, will unsettle many employers.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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