WORKERS at the Dundalk Diageo brewery have expressed their disgust to the Dundalk Democrat are their parent company’s unwillingness to budge from what they see as deeply unjust redundancy package. .
Yesterday (Monday) morning Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick met with Diageo bosses to see if there was a way forward on the matter.
At this meeting Fitzpatrick was told of Diageo’s latest package to the disgruntled Dundalk.
The Democrat understands that Diageo are offering full-time workers at the factory a eight week salary per year worked there, to a maximum of the equivalent of two years salary.
They have also taken off the table an early retirement scheme, which had allowed workers to retire at the age of 50.
The deal has now reverted to the contract retirement age for workers of 62 or 65, depending on their individual contracts.
A source from within the Dundalk brewery told the paper: “We are not happy with this deal. This means that a worker that has been working here 35 years will get the same amount as a worker that has been here 13 years.
“As a result of this deal, 75 per cent of the workers at the plant will be left out of pocket. The majority of workers at the plant are in the late 50s and have been working here for decades. Some of them will be getting a rate of just 2.8 weeks per year, while guys who have been here a few months will get 8 weeks.
“This deal has been on the table for six months and they won’t budge on it. We have also lost our medical scheme, our VHI subsidies.”
Diageo presumable would prefer to see the negotiations finalised before August 30, the date for the parties to met in the Labour Court.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat, TD Peter Fitzpatrick told the paper: “I met with Paul Armstrong, Supply Chain Director for European beers and Aiden Crowe, Plant Manager at Dundalk, for over an hour.
“They have put this deal on the table. I think it’s important that the line of communication is kept open between the two parties. The deal is there now, and it’s there to be negotiated.
“The good news is that Diageo have said that they are willing to talk to any interested parties regarding the future of the plant. They have told me that in black and white.
“The Killkenny plant was sold to the local county council, and I think everyone hopes that the brewery does not fall into disrepair.”
Fears had been expressed previously that Diageo would hold on to the building for an indefinite number of years.