LIEBHERR Container Cranes in Killarney has warned that it will have to innovate and change to protect the future of the company for the employees and the local region.
As Connect trade union workers yesterday took to the picket line in a protest over changes to sick pay benefits – with further disruptive series of stoppages planned by SIPTU members for next week – management reminded its approximate staff of 800 that the company is an important employer in the Munster region and it has invested hugely in its staff here.
“Liebherr is operating in a fiercely competitive global market,” management stressed in a statement issued to KillarneyToday.com.
“For over 60 years many thousands of people have had the opportunity to work or train and establish careers at the company’s facilities in Killarney,” the company added, stressing that while it was “disappointed” with the strike action, management remains open to discussions with unions on how to address the increased competition that the company faces.
The statement added: “Liebherr management continues to be willing to discuss the associated solutions and already has, prior to strike action, invited both unions, as part of the collective bargaining agreement, to discuss, without any preconditions, an optimisation plan.
“Management must, at all times, honour the existing agreements on how discussion and agreements with both unions take place. Liebherr management is on standby to engage with unions and it is important and urgent that this takes place as soon as possible”.
The company lost a day of production yesterday when the Connect union workers downed tools in a protest over changes to the sick pay scheme in operation at the plant.
They are not happy that the previous scheme was replaced although union officials have acknowledged that there was a high absenteeism rate in the firm.
Meanwhile, over 400 SIPTU members at the factory will initiate a series of one-hour rolling work stoppage in all departments on March 25 in a protest over terms and conditions with the sick pay scheme again at the centre of the stand-off.
SIPTU said the stance of the company has forced the union members into a position in which their backs are to the wall and there has been a call for a return to the previous sick pay conditions.
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