Cable firm to close with 106 job losses

THE 106 workers at Longford cable company B3 Solutions are to lose their jobs after attempts to find a new buyer for the operation failed.

Two weeks after workers were told that the company was being put into receivership, they were last night brought together and told that, after three decades operating in Aghafad the business was to be wound down.

In the intervening weeks, receiver Alan Flanagan of Deloitte tried to find a buyer willing to take on the cable firm as a going concern. However, he told workers those efforts had proved unsuccessful and he had no choice but to “dispose of the assets on a piecemeal basis”.

At last night’s meeting staff said any hope of securing a new investor at the 11th hour was effectively dashed by rumoured plans the company intended to continue its Irish interests from its HQ in Britain.

“On June 30 we got word that B3 in Longford was closing down. On July 1 in a paper in Manchester one of the directors, Steve Ellis, was quoted that they were going to supply Eircom products from Manchester which actually sabotaged any hope the receiver had of selling the plant in Longford,” said Joe Murphy who has been on the B3 staff roster for the past 27 years.

Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Federation is to ask its constituent groups to make the final decision on whether it will accept the introduction of a 7.5% pay cut across the industry.

Unions representing workers in the industry meet this morning to discuss the cut to the registered employment agreement in the construction sector which has been recommended by the Labour Court.

Yesterday, the executive of the Construction Industry Federation met to decide its next step in light of the court’s recommendation.

It had been pressing for a 20% pay cut due to the well-publicised collapse in construction, claiming such a wage reduction could help restore some of the 200,000 jobs lost in the industry over the last two years.

However, arguing against the cut, trade union leaders said construction workers had already suffered a massive drop in income from loss of bonuses and overtime and could not afford any cuts in basic rates of pay.

Weighing up the arguments, the Labour Court said the basic rate should be cut by 7.5% and the reduction would also apply to pay-related allowances.

However, it made it clear that the cuts should be seen as a temporary derogation from the registered employment agreement governing the sector and it should be reviewed in January 2012 and in each subsequent year.

Meanwhile, Dublin residents are facing disruption to their bin collection after SIPTU served notice of strike action over plans to outsource the service.

According to the union, Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council plans to outsource bin collection to private company, Panda.

The strike action is due to commence on July 22.


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