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Sinn Féin TD, senator and councillors meet Lagan Brick workers

5 January, 2012

Sinn Féin Cavan-Monaghan TD, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin this afternoon (Thursday) met with the protesting workers at Lagan Brick in Kingscourt, Co Cavan. He called on the firm’s owners to engage with the workers at the Labour Relations Commission and expressed solidarity with the workers’ protest at what he called their “disgraceful treatment by the company”.

Deputy Ó Caoláin was accompanied at the meeting by Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly, Cavan county councillor Paddy McDonald, Monaghan county councillor Matt Carthy and local party activist Martin Malone.

Speaking after the meeting, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The Lagan Brick workers have Sinn Féin’s full support in their protest at the disgraceful treatment they have received from the owners of Lagan Brick.

“They were told at an hour’s notice, ten days before Christmas, that their jobs were gone and that the plant would close. There was no negotiation, no proper redundancy procedure and no redundancy payment beyond statutory redundancy.

“One of the 25 workers we met this afternoon has given 43 years’ service to the company. Every one of them has over 20 years’ service. They have maintained a 24-hour vigil at the plant since they were laid off on 15 December.

“Lagan Brick claims that the Kingscourt plant must close but workers believe that the company’s position is not as it has claimed and that it is viable. They fear that following their lay-offs the company may well seek to employ agency workers at lower rates of pay and poorer conditions.

“The workers have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission. I appeal to the Lagan Brick owners to engage in this process without further delay and to reach a just resolution.

“The Sinn Féin elected representatives at today’s meeting agreed to raise the issue in the Oireachtas and at council level. I also undertook to liaise with other political party representatives in an effort to construct an all-party united front in support of the workers’ demands.”

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