March in Dublin on Saturday 20th
Support the Irish Glass Bottle Workers March: Saturday 20th July 12 noon - Assemble at Liberty Hall
Support Irish Glass Bottle Workers
The Irish Glass Bottle Company (IGB) was officially closed down by the management on the 5th of July with almost 400 jobs lost. The workers are continuing their fight for decent redundancy payments with an occupation of the plant, pickets, etc. The Company was a traditional Dockland employer. Many of those who lost their jobs lived locally in Ringsend, but some also came from East Wall and the North side of the river.
In the weeks leading up to the closure the workers had held a sit-in at the plant. At this stage there was no question of their jobs being saved - it was obvious that management were going to shut the plant no matter what - this was simply a demand for reasonable redundancy payments. The Labour Court has recommended five weeks pay per year of service. The company has refused to pay this, instead only offering a half-week pay per year. (If any group of workers rejected a Labour Court recommendation in this way they would be condemned by the media and politicians. With a few notable exceptions these are strangely silent now). This dispute is simply about workers demanding their rights, to be treated with the respect they deserve in opposition to greedy businessmen with their own agenda.
What is the company’s agenda?
The events leading up to the current situation display the actions of a company with a hidden agenda and a serious anti-worker attitude. Earlier this year the company announced that it was in financial difficulties. At this time the workers agreed to a rationalization and re-organisation deal to the help save the company. The company chairman admitted that this was the best deal any management could get, however the company was intent on closing down anyhow. This came as a shock to the workers, many who have given up to thirty years service.
IGB is part of the multinational Ardagh Plc. Ardagh is hugely successful and profitable, it made a trading profit of 37.5 million euro in the year ending 31st Dec 2000. At the same time as the closure of the Ringsend plant was being planned the company was buying up plants in England, Scotland and Italy. In Italy they bought a glass factory, Consumers Glass in Teramo, for Euro 3m. One of the plants in England closed down only to re-open with non-union staff. The stated financial reasons for the closure in Ringsend are lies.
The IGB site is amongst the most valuable land in the country. The business men responsible for Ardagh, and their political cronies, have some plans for this area. These will undoubtedly become apparent in the near future. Recent tribunals and scandals have shown that this class of people is always scheming in the background, with no regard for who suffers from their actions.
IGB was the only glass recycling company in the country. The company had the capability to recycle 250 tonnes of glass per day. Its closure represents a drop of 30% of all recycling in Ireland. This is incredible, coming at a time when waste management is a major political issue. The Government is supposedly committed to recycling, yet has failed to intervene in the whole IGB controversy. What should be a key component in a national recycling strategy is allowed to close up shop with no alternative on offer.
What the workers want
The workers at IGB are not making any unreasonable demands. They are quite simply demanding that they be treated with respect. They do not wish to be thrown on the scrap heap. Instead, they want what is due to them as agreed by the Labour Court.
They are asking for your support -
Support the Irish Glass Bottle Workers
March: Saturday 20th July
12 noon - Assemble at Liberty Hall
On both sides of the Liffey, be it the Anti-Community Spencer Dock Development or the Anti-Worker IGB management, ordinary people are being forced to suffer because of the greedy few.
It is important that this is challenged.
Working Class Action