Talks are getting underway at Avara Pharma in Shannon later, with the support of the Workplace Relations Commission, in an effort to save 114 jobs there.
The future remains uncertain for the workers at the pharmaceuticals firms, following the High Court appointing liquidators to the firm last month.
SIPTU says that several buyers have expressed interest in the plant, while they’re requesting an extention of the statutory 30-day consultation period for dealing with collective redundancies, which ended on Wednesday.
The union says the talks have been complex and they’ve raised the issue directly with Minister Heather Humphreys, adding that the priority must be saving as many of the jobs as possible.
Statement from SIPTU
SIPTU representatives will meet with the liquidators of Avara Shannon Pharmaceutical Services Ltd, under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) on Friday, at the plant in Shannon, county Clare.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Alan O’Leary, said: “Our aim is to save as many of our members’ jobs as possible. Union representatives have regularly engaged with the liquidators from Kirker & Co. and KPMG who were appointed following a ruling by the High Court to put the company into liquidation on 29th July.
“We are insisting that our members are retained in full employment while we await confirmation or otherwise of the potential for a sale of the business. We understand that several potential buyers have expressed an interest in the plant.
“It has been a very complex and difficult round of talks. Issues that have been the focus of discussions include dealing with the pay and conditions of employment of workers and the staffing levels to safely run this pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. A major concern is the retention of key personnel to ensure the safe operation of the plant.
The union has raised concerns about the consultation process directly with Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and Minister of State, Pat Breen. We have also formally requested that the statutory 30-day consultation period for dealing with collective redundancies which ended yesterday, Wednesday, 14th August, be extended. A petition containing 8,000 signatures has been gathered supporting this request and we are currently awaiting a formal response from the Minister regarding it.
He added: “In the interim we have referred our concerns to the WRC meeting which will take place tomorrow. The talks are now entering a very sensitive phase and as they are now part of a formal WRC process all sides are precluded from publicly commenting any further on their details until they have been concluded.”