Sinn Féin Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín is seeking a meeting with management of Tara Mines in order to prevent the current crisis deepening. Tara Mines is one of the largest employers in County Meath, an area that has otherwise become a desert for inward investment.
Teachta Tóibín has been notified that staff at the mine have been given an ultimatum by management to either accept the 10% salary cut or face the mine being put in to ‘care and maintenance’ which is euphemism for temporary closure.
“The staff has been told that the best that they can hope for is that after a period of the mine being put into ‘care and maintenance’ they may be faced with a 25% cut in salary.
“If this is the case the actions of management are shockingly aggressive. Firstly management unilaterally put the workers on protective notice and then before LRC negotiations have concluded they have issued this nuclear option. This breaks a wage agreement between staff and management that is not nine months old which was to run until 2014.
“It’s also significant that Tara Mines is reported to be in negotiations with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on the issue of licences for the extraction of new ore bodies in the locality and of royalties.
“Minister Pat Rabbitte must not let the living standards and jobs of hundreds of miners be used as a bargaining chip by the mine in its negotiations. Profitable mining companies extracting Irish resources need to pay fair royalties and should not seek to shirk the burden onto the shoulders of workers.
“The workers of Tara Mines have never been found wanting in the search for cost savings and efficiencies and I have no doubt that they will play their part in ensuring a healthy business in the future.”