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Tara Mines, Co Meath
deal struck

Unions call for commitment to long-term future as Tara Mines to reopen after nine months

Employees will return to work on a phased basis and redundancies will be voluntary.


A TRADE UNION representing some workers at Tara Mines has called on the parent company to commit to the mines’ long-term future after an agreement has been reached following talks at Workplace Relations Commission between management and unions.

Employees will return to work on a phased basis. There will be redundancies, but they will be on a voluntary basis.

The mines have been closed for nine months and the group of unions began talks with management in January.

In a letter sent to employees in the early hours of this morning, the group said: “Upon acceptance, it will take some time for the operation to resume in full, but our intention is to commence the re-opening process immediately on acceptance of the deal.

“We believe that the proposals that has been agreed is the best possible in light of the continuing external market challenges.

“It will allow the mine to re-open on a basis that is financially sustainable, safeguarding the long-term future of the operation here.”

Commenting on the matter, Trade union Unite, which represents craft and staff grades at Tara Mines, said the voluntary redundancies represented a ‘major blow’ to the the workers.

“Notwithstanding the improved terms secured by unions, the voluntary redundancies envisaged in the proposed agreement represent a major blow to workers and the local economy,” Unite regional officer Brian Hewitt said.

“Unions have succeeded in protecting the core pay of the remaining workforce and Unite will be working in the coming weeks to maximise bonuses and productivity payments for our members.

“If the agreement is accepted by workers, we would urge Boliden to set a firm date for the re-opening to be completed, and to give workers an assurance that the company is committed to Tara Mines’ long-term future”.

“People will be returning and we’ve secured people’s core terms and conditions of employment,” said SIPTU representative Adrian Kane, which represents other workers at the site.

The mines have been closed for nine months and the group of unions began talks with management in January.

The decision will put an end to months of uncertainty for workers and families.

Swedish parent company Boliden announced the temporary closure of the facility last June, and closure took effect in July.

This resulted in around 650 workers being temporarily laid off.

Boliden said it made this decision due to “operational challenges” including a “decline in the price of zinc, high energy prices, and general cost inflation”.

Justice Minister and Meath East TD Helen McEntee described today’s deal as “promising news”.

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald