Statement on Tara Mines Lay-Offs From Ged Nash TD

14 June 2023

Louth & East Meath Labour TD and the Party’s enterprise spokesperson, Ged Nash said:

“The decision to temporarily lay off 650 workers at Tara Mines has sent shockwaves through Meath and Louth.

“An explanation is required from the company as to why they took a sudden and unilateral decision, without any consultation with the trade unions, to press the nuclear button on lay-offs rather than explore short-time work arrangements.

“Expressions of surprise from government at this devastating news demands further interrogation when the trade unions have made it clear that various forms of assistance were being sought by government over the last six months. Tara Mines’ difficulties should not come as a surprise to Ministers.

“The company need to elaborate on what they mean by the ‘operational challenges’ they face and spell out precisely what support they have asked for, and what assistance they require to avoid this scenario.

“Workers at Tara Mines have always shown themselves to be more than flexible when it comes to assisting the company through difficult trading periods.

“The company should now engage meaningfully and with an open mind on alternatives to lay-offs.

“The last time there were major lay-offs at Tara Mines, the previous owners guaranteed the maintenance of pay and conditions to workers returning from lay-off. The current owners must do the same, if lay-offs cannot be avoided.

“For three years now, this government has ignored Labour’s repeated calls for the introduction of a German-style short-time working scheme to assist workers and companies through challenging periods.

“This would involve a government and employer co-funded short-term work scheme where workers receive a high percentage of their pre-lay off income for a period of time, supported by the State and company resources.”

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