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Labour Court proposals rejected by SIPTU staff at Liebherr plant

A move aimed at resolving a pay dispute dating back to 2009 was rejected by workers at the plant.

A worker at a Liebherr plant.
A worker at a Liebherr plant.
Image: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/Press Association Images

SIPTU workers at Liebherr Ireland, a crane manufacturer in Kerry, have voted to reject Labour Court proposals, adding to fears for jobs at the plant.

In a statement this afternoon, the union confirmed that workers at Liebherr Container Cranes rejected the ballot which would have provided workers with a pay increase, backdated 21 months, although with changes to existing work practices.

“We are now in the process of considering that decision with the workplace committee at Liebherr,” SIPTU Organiser Marie Kearney said.

We are writing to the company in relation to the result of this ballot and will remain available for direct discussions.

At the beginning of December last year, following a one-day work stoppage in November and on-going ban on overtime, workers met with management at the Labour Court  in an attempt to resolve a pay disputing dating back to 2009.

Liebherr said previously said it was “disappointed” at the industrial action, and that it has already started transferring some work from its plant in Killarney back to Germany.

Employees were not paid a previously agreed 2.5 per cent pay increase.

Liebherr employs a total of 670 people in its plant in Kerry, with just under half of these represented by SIPTU.

The union previously said that the non-payment of the wage increase is the centre of the dispute, and also noted that “thee average hourly pay of skilled operatives working at the Liebherr plant is €15.43 which is below the average rate payable to similarly skilled workers”.

Read: SIPTU calls on Liebherr to “respect the industrial relations process” in pay dispute >

More: Fears for 670 jobs at Liebherr’s Kerry plant following strike action >

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Nicky Ryan

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