SIPTU condemns Tara Mines management as negotiations fail to agree path forward
SIPTU representatives have condemned the Tara Mines management for its “abject failure” after weeks of negotiations failed to agree a facilitation process.
Workers at Tara Mines have been temporarily laid off for 130 days, which the union describes as a “national scandal.” Some 2,000 workers have been affected by the move including 620 direct employees of New Boliden at the mine.
The union says that management at the site had originally agreed to an independent facilitation process to resolve issues which would assist with the re-opening of the mine but has now reneged on that commitment.
John Regan, SIPTU Sector Organiser, said: “New Boliden unilaterally made the decision to put the mine into care and maintenance despite our best efforts. These included suggesting an independent facilitator to assist with the original 63 proposed changes to operational issues identified by the Group of Unions (GOU).
“The management’s letter last Thursday confirmed that the company intends to stick with this approach and their own facilitator, thereby ruling out the joint facilitation process for which the Group of Unions had called.
“The management’s takeover of the process for engagement is an abject failure and unacceptable to the GOU. This process was originally designed as a way to implement proposals which management ignored, leading to the mine going into care and maintenance in the first place.
“The GOU is urgently seeking a date for the reopening of the mine, an outline of voluntary redundancy terms and a request for a hearing of the Labour Court.”
Andrew McGuinness, SIPTU Assistant Industrial Organiser, said: “It was clearly agreed in the terms of reference that the GOU would have a nominated facilitator in order to tackle the issues and bring the mine back into operation. The fact that this hasn’t been respected is hugely disappointing.
“We are continuing to seek the involvement of senior management from the parent company in this process. They must urgently come to the table and help to resolve the issues that are preventing the reopening of the mine.”