Diamond staff get €1,350 bonuses for saving company
WORKERS who saved a company from collapse have been rewarded with an unexpected cash windfall.
Unions and management at Element Six were engaged in a bitter battle last year over the company's restructuring plan.
The Co Clare-based industrial diamond manufacturer had threatened to keep just 80 of the 450 jobs there if an agreement could not be reached.
The three unions at the plant had claimed the company could have afforded more favourable redundancy payments, however, agreement was reached and in the end 163 jobs were saved.
Now, those workers have received at least €1,350 each while senior management are understood to have benefited from bonuses of at least €5,000.
While the company has refused to discuss figures, sources say the estimated cost of the payout is in the region of €700,000 at the Shannon facility alone. The company has said: "Element Six is happy to confirm that, in recognition of the contribution made by staff in meeting the challenges of what was an extremely difficult 2009, all our staff globally received a bonus in recent weeks.
"Bonus payments at Element Six, like at most companies, are typically dependent on company earnings and while these were down considerably last year, the Executive and Board decided that a bonus should still be paid to recognise the loyalty of staff."
The spokesman added: "This was not a local but a global decision but we are obviously very pleased that our staff here at Shannon have been included in this overall bonus payment."