Date Released: 07 December 2016
SIPTU members in the Bausch and Lomb plant in Waterford, County Waterford, have issued notice of industrial action to commence on Wednesday, 21st December, in a dispute resulting from the failure of management to fully restore workers’ pay and conditions of employment.
SIPTU Organiser, Allen Dillon, said: “Our members have decided to implement a campaign of limited industrial action, which will consist of a series of one-hour work stoppages by each shift and an overtime ban, which will commence on 21st December. This dispute has arisen because of a failure by management to agree for the full restoration of the pay and conditions of employment of our members.
“In 2014, over 800 SIPTU members reluctantly agreed to deep cuts in their pay and terms and conditions of employment. The basic pay of our members was cut by 7.5% and there were additional reductions in bonus payments and sick pay benefits. Also, a new starter rate of pay was implemented for temporary staff and our members agreed to increase productivity by working an additional hour a week.
“In August 2015, an agreed two-year pay freeze expired. Since then SIPTU has engaged in intensive negotiations with the company in an effort to reach an agreement on full pay restoration for our members. Unfortunately, despite intensive efforts by union representatives an agreement has not been achieved.”
He added: “A Labour Court recommendation issued in August this year in relation to the dispute was overwhelmingly rejected by our members. With the collective dispute resolution procedures exhausted and no further engagement by management on the issues in dispute, our members feel they have no option but to implement a campaign of industrial action.”
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Alan O’Leary, said: “The union acknowledges that the company is honouring its commitment to invest in the plant in Waterford. However, we are calling on the company to also recognise the sacrifice made by our members and also invest in them.
“Our members believe that the full restoration of their pay and terms and conditions of employment is what is now required. The planned industrial action by our members is avoidable and we urge the company to act now and initiate a plan which provides for the full restoration of the pay and terms and conditions of employment of our members. The union remains available at short notice to directly engage with the company in talks to resolve this dispute.”