Sunday 15 December 2019

Kingspan workers to get first pay hike since 2007

Gordon Deegan

Workers at building materials firm Kingspan's flagship Irish plant at Kingscourt in Cavan are in line to receive their first pay increase in seven years.

This follows a Labour Court recommendation that the workers receive a 2pc increase in October in spite of Kingspan's claimthat it wasn't in a position to award a pay increase.

Kingspan is among the best performers on the stock exchange over the past decade.Kingspahad argued before the Labour Court that any increase in costs would hurt competitiveness and said that the concession of the union's claim "would affect the long term future of the company".

The firm also argued that it must continue to maintain current cost levels to remain viable.

However, SIPTU countered that workers have not received a pay increase since 2007 and said workers have suffered a reduction in pay and terms and conditions of employment since 2010.

SIPTU argued that the company is currently profitable and was in a financial position to award a pay increase to its members.

According to the Labour Court report on the dispute "the union contends that the workers by means of enduring losses in pay and terms and conditions of employment over a number of years have contributed significantly to the viability of the company and believe that in line with other companies in the locality they should be awarded an increase in pay."

Around 100 workers are employed at the Cavan plant and in its recommendation, the Labour Court ruled that in return for a commitment to cooperate with normal ongoing change in the plant, workers receive a 2pc increase for a period of 12 months from in this October.

SIPTU organiser Denis Sheridan said that based on recently published results, Kingspan is able to give the 2pc pay increase.

"The company has been doing extremely well since 2010," Mr Sheridan said.

Earlier this year, Kingspan reported a strong start to 2014 following a 10pc rise in sales last year to €1.79bn. After tax profits increased 19pc to €89.2m.

Mr Sheridan said that the Labour Court recommendation will now be put to a ballot of its members next week.

Workers have suffered a loss in their terms and conditions with shift and overtime premiums cut "since the bursting of the Celtic Tiger", he added.

Irish Independent

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