éirígí Call for Action on Largo Foods Pay-cut Decision
éirígí have called for immediate action on behalf of the workers in the ongoing pay dispute at the Largo Foods factory in Gaoth Dobhair. Largo Foods are the producers of food brands such as Tayto and Hunky Dory crisps and the calls come in light of news that the workers in the local factory have been asked to take a 3.5% pay cut despite claims by Largo Foods CEO Raymond Coyle in recent weeks that “business is better than last year”.
Workers at the factory were stunned at the pay cut decision given the continuing success of the business and so last week voted against it. Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, spokesperson for éirígí Tir Chonaill said, “This is an absolute disgrace that Ray Coyle should be calling on those who work for him to take a pay cut just so he can line his own pockets. He himself stated only weeks ago that his business was strong and successful and if anything was growing, so a decision to cut the wages of his workers only goes to show that the reasoning behind it is solely in his own interest.”
“The workers have already voted to reject the pay cuts, despite shameful threats from some management that the factory could be shut down if the pay proposal was rejected. And despite this democratic decision by the workers, SIPTU in an almost carbon copy plan of the re-vote of the Lisbon Treaty has asked them to reconsider their decision and vote again. SIPTU should be standing with the workers and supporting the vote they have taken”, he said.
Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig went on to say, “Údarás na Gaeltachta should also be intervening in this case, not only on behalf of the workers, but the tax-payers as well. Largo Foods received funding from Údarás of €600,000 in recent weeks, a figure which could rise to €950,000, and that money should be used to support the workers, not the capitalist interests of big businessmen. To date, Údarás have taken a stance of non-interference in this issue and that disgraceful stance should be roundly condemed”
He concluded by saying “Largo Foods is clearly not in any economic difficulty and it is completely unacceptable that this company should be allowed to treat its workers in such a manner, especially given the fact that it has benefited from state funding to such a degree. Everyone should be rallying behind the workers to support them in their decision to reject these pay cuts. I would also call on the workers now to organise and consider action if the intimidation continues and pay cut is carried out and for the local community to support them in any action they take and to show that the working people will no longer be walked on by big business and capitalist greed.”