STAFF AT the former Lagan Brick factory near Kingscourt in Co Cavan have accepted an offer to attend talks at the Labour Relations Commission over a dispute about their redundacies.
The workers at the brick manufacturing plant were only made aware of their redundancy a few hours before the plant ceased operations on December 15 – and have held a 24-hour protest at the site ever since.
Staff told last week’s Meath Chronicle that some of them had only be given 30 minutes’ notice of their redundancy – and, even then, were not personally informed, but rather told through a shop steward.
SIPTU members at the plant said this evening they had accepted an offer for LRC talks – though they had not yet received confirmation that the management would also be taking part.
Those talks will be aimed at “retaining maximum employment at the plant and securing satisfactory redundancy and severance terms for any workers that lose their jobs,” SIPTU said.
Organiser John Regan said the dispute had “caused much distress during the festive period”, with the manner of the closure of the plant also serving as “a massive blow” to the workers and local community.
“While the workers are awaiting a management response to the offer of LRC conciliation, they will maintain their 24-hour protest at the plant entrance.
The protest will only be suspended once the workers have received a written assurance from management that all materials and machinery in the plant will be left in situ until agreement on a just conclusion to this dispute has been reached.
SIPTU had written to jobs minister Richard Bruton before Christmas to investigate the circumstances surrounding the closure of the factory, and to ascertain whether the company had behaved in accordance with redundancy law.
So far, the union says, it has not received a response.