Liebherr warns of possible down scale of operations due to unofficial action by workers

One of Killarney’s largest employers has warned it will have to down scale operations because of unofficial action taken by workers. In a letter seen by Radio Kerry News, Liebherr says the refusal of some employees to work overtime is compromising its ability to function effectively on a day to day basis. It says the action could be seen, at worst, as a calculated act to damage the company. The letter by Liebherr’s personnel manager says contract workshop employees will be issued termination notices, a move which, it’s believed, will see some 19 workers at the plant losing their jobs. Radio Kerry News has learned that for the past six weeks, production workers have refused to work overtime in a row over pay structure including issues over the current basic pay rate. The action is unofficial and has not been sanctioned by unions SIPTU or the TEEU. Neither management nor unions are commenting on the situation. According to the letter by Personnel Manager Tom Foley, the two unions said they would recommend their members resume overtime following a meeting with Liebherr Container Cranes last week. But Liebherr says there’s been no resumption of overtime which has put paid to negotiations on pay and other issues which were due to restart yesterday. The company says it’s clear unions no longer have influence with members and warns, what it calls, an unacceptable situation will not be allowed to continue. Liebherr plans to redeploy the workload for existing sales orders to sister and other manufacturing companies and to eliminate overtime from workshop production in Killarney.