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Ballot on deal to reopen Tara Mines under way


A ballot of workers at Tara Mines on a new deal to reopen the mine is under way.

Hundreds of workers who have been temporarily laid off from the mine in Navan, Co Meath, since last July attended a general meeting last night.

The meeting was organised by the Group of Unions at the mine, including SIPTU, Unite and Connect.

Unions are recommending the deal brokered with management during talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Core pay and conditions for workers will be maintained under the deal, but it also includes changes to work practices.

Around 150 voluntary redundancies are also being sought by the owners of the mine, Boliden.

If the deal is accepted by workers, it is expected the mine can begin to reopen on a phased basis from June.

The phased reopening could take around six months.


Read more:
160 redundancies as part of deal to reopen Tara Mines
Light at the end of the tunnel for Tara Mines employees


Speaking ahead of the meeting last night, Sector Organiser with SIPTU John Regan said workers now have to make their own minds up on an 86 page set of proposals.

He said: “We believe it gives the opportunity to go back into employment, and it gives us the opportunity to hopefully influence how the agreement will be applied over a period of time. There is a review clause in 12 months.”

“In the main, core pay and conditions will be protected”, he said, adding that there were also “some losses”, including a further 150 voluntary redundancies being sought.

Mr Regan described the last nine months for workers as “horrendous”.

“Going from very good terms and conditions to end up on unemployment benefit is not a place any worker wants to be,” he said.

A ballot on the proposals began last night and will conclude with a count on 3 May.

Tara Mines closed temporarily in mid-July, going into a period of “care and maintenance” and resulting in the laying off of around 650 workers

Boliden said it took the decision due to unsustainable losses at the mine and other factors including a decline in the price of zinc, inflation and energy costs.


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