éirígí Slam Largo Foods Intimidation of its Workers
éirígí Tír Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has called on Ray Coyle, the CEO of Largo Foods, to publicly clarify his immediate plans for the company’s operations in Gaoth Dobhair. His concerns come amid suggestions from within the company that they are about to shut down completely in Donegal as workers defied threats of closure to reject pay cuts.
According to Mac Giolla Easbuig, the behaviour of Coyle and the company towards their employees and the taxpayer who has invested heavily in this company, has been despicable. He said:
“Management were trying to impose a pay cut of 3.5% on their employees. With employees being balloted on the proposal midweek, on Monday a senior manager threatened workers that if they rejected the pay cuts, that Largo Foods would shut the plant and pull completely out of Donegal.”
He added: “Despite such blatant and unacceptable bullying and intimidation, the workers democratically, and justifiably, rejected Coyle’s attempts to impose pay cuts on them.
“This is just another example of employers trying to use the recession to drive down workers’ wages and conditions despite there being no justification for doing so. Indeed, in an interview with the Irish Times only last week [June 25], Coyle is quoted as saying that ‘business is better than last year’ as he boasted about increased sales as a result of his recent controversial ad campaign.
“Such has been the increase in sales that they have created 36 new jobs at their Ashbourne plant in Meath and just over a week ago it was announced that Údarás na Gaeltachta (courtesy of the tax payer) were investing €600,000 [£497,000], and possibly up to €950,000 [£787,000], into Arán Pita Teo, a subsidiary of Largo Foods. Quite clearly this is a company that is not in economic difficulties and their attempts to impose pay cuts are solely about greed and increased profits at workers expense, using the recession as an excuse.”
He continued: “Following the workers’ rejection of the cuts, we have been approached by quite a number of employees and members of the public who are extremely concerned for the future of these jobs and who are appalled by the actions of Coyle and his management. His actions have been despicable, especially considering that it has been his workers labour that has made this company a success.”
Mac Giolla Easbuig concluded: “It is completely unacceptable that a company that has benefited to such an extent from state funding should now treat its workforce and the local community, who will also suffer if these jobs are lost, in such a shabby manner. We are calling now on Ray Coyle to publicly clarify the position of Largo Foods in Donegal. We would also urge the workers to organise themselves to resist any further intimidation by the company and for the local community to also rally behind the workforce in order to support the workers and their families.”