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Over 400 workers to strike for 6pc ‘cost of living’ pay rise

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The strike comes as employers are under increased pressure to give pay rises due to dramatic increases in the cost of living. Photo: PA

The strike comes as employers are under increased pressure to give pay rises due to dramatic increases in the cost of living. Photo: PA

The strike comes as employers are under increased pressure to give pay rises due to dramatic increases in the cost of living. Photo: PA

Arouond 400 workers at a major manufacturer for the electrical industry are set to strike for a 6pc pay rise due to spiralling living costs.

Siptu members at Kyte Powertech in Co Cavan will begin a campaign of industrial action with a 24-hour stoppage on Friday.

The workers are also planning a ban on overtime.

The strike comes as employers are under increased pressure to give pay rises due to dramatic increases in the cost of living, with business groups and Government warning they cannot chase inflation.

Kyte Powertech makes transformers for the electrical industry and its main markets are Ireland the UK, and western Europe.

A company spokesperson said it employs 455 employees in its Cavan plant, with approximately 360 Siptu members, and is the largest private employer in the Cavan region.

Siptu claims it has more than 420 members.

Siptu organiser Martin O’Rourke said this is the first time there has been a strike there.

“As with workers across the economy, they face a cost-of- living crisis resulting from an inflation rate which is the highest in a generation and soaring costs for other essential service,” he said.

He said the workers are seeking 6pc a year for three years.

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They rejected a Labour Court recommendation of 3pc a year for three years, with a 1.5pc pay rise for welders and increased Christmas bonus of €400.

The recommendation says the union originally sought a 4pc increase each year.

The court said a submission it had since made contained a claim for 6pc a year.

However, the union had agreed to proceed with its original claim of 4pc a year, as this was the amount referred to the court.

“We are certainly not chasing inflation,” said Mr O’Rourke. “The plant is there since the 1970s and there never has been any strike action. That shows you the level of frustration with the cost of living.”

A Kyte Powertech spokesperson said it fully engaged with Siptu on improved pay and the decision to take industrial action was regrettable.

“The company has accepted the Labour Court recommendation on enhanced pay, even though it went beyond what the company was prepared to pay, in the interests of maintaining good industrial relations,” he said.

“Given the challenging and uncertain business context, the company cannot afford to further increase labour costs beyond the Labour Court recommendation which the company views as the only basis for a solution.”


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