Workers at building materials firm Kingspan’s flagship Irish plant at Kingscourt, Co Cavan, are in line to receive their first pay increase in seven years.
It follows the Labour Court recommending that the workers receive a 2% increase in October, despite Kingspan stating that it wasn’t in a position to award a pay increase.
Kingspan argued before the Labour Court that any increase in costs would adversely affect its competitiveness and that the concession of the union’s claim “would affect the long-term future of the company”.
The firm further argued that it must continue to maintain current cost levels to remain viable.
Siptu countered that the workers had not received a pay increase since 2007 and that workers had suffered a reduction in pay and terms and conditions of employment since 2010. The union said that, to date, this has not been reviewed or addressed by Kingspan.
Siptu argued that the company, which employs about 100 people, is profitable and in a financial position to award a pay increase.
In its recommendation, the Labour Court ruled that in return for a commitment to co-operate with normal ongoing change in the plant, there should be an increase in the pay of the workers concerned by 2% for a period of 12 months, with effect from October 1.
Denis Sheridan of Siptu said yesterday that, based on recently published results, Kingspan is able to give the 2% pay rise. “The company has been doing extremely well since 2010.”
Mr Sheridan said the Labour Court recommendation will now be put to a ballot of its members at the Kingscourt plant in the next week or so.
“We hope that a settlement can be reached between ourselves and the company on the pay issue,” he said.
A spokesman for Kingspan said yesterday: “The company notes the Labour Court ruling in relation to the Kingscourt plant, and will continue to engage with staff and their representatives.”
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