Mattie McGrath in war of words with C&C over workers’ future

Workers at the Bulmers plant in Clonmel are being treated in a ‘high handed and dismissive manner’ by owners C&C, claimed South Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath this week.

Workers at the Bulmers plant in Clonmel are being treated in a ‘high handed and dismissive manner’ by owners C&C, claimed South Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath this week.

Deputy McGrath, who became embroiled in a war of words with C&C in the last week over the future of workers at the Clonmel plant, said morale among the workforce was at an all time low.

Following a statement issued by Deputy McGrath last week expressing shock that twenty five of the workforce were going to be involuntarily let go, C&C responded by stating that no redundancies have been announced or planned at Bulmers.

Deputy McGrath followed that statement with another voicing concerns that the ‘company spin’ was a far cry from the reality of the situation at the Clonmel plant.

In a statement the company acknowledges that it is in on-going discussions with employees and unions regarding the alignment of employees’ hours with seasonal demands.

C&C say there may be temporary seasonal lay-offs in the quieter period from January to February.

The company says it is committed to the Bulmers site in Clonmel and have recently made a significant investment in a new craft brewery at the plant.

That C&C statment followed comments made by Deputy McGrath in which he slammed senior board members of the C&C Group for reneging on commitments given to him around the security of its workers jobs at the plant in Clonmel.

He said that up to 25 full time staff were to be involuntarily let go in the New Year.

He accused the company of making a concerted effort to reduce the workforce in Clonmel despite repeated assurances that this was not the case.

In response to the C&C statement, Deputy McGrath said he stood over his original statment.

He said he never mentioned redundancies,but did state that twenty five workers were to be involuntarily let go.

“Now they are saying that these twenty five workers may be involuntarily let go on a temporary basis

“The workers who have come to me are speaking of their genuine despair

The layoffs are, as I said last week, completely involuntary.

There was no meaningful engagement on this issue before it was presented to the workers.

In fact the workers were stunned because they had been given assurances that a period of ‘industrial peace’ was secured following agreements earlier in the year” said Deputy McGrath.

“I know it to be factually true that the workers are bitterly disappointed by the treatment that has been handed out to them over the course of the last year in particular.

I have rarely heard of such a consistently high handed and dismissive approach to workers concerns as I have heard from those workers in Bulmers who have come to me about this issue.

Morale at the Bulmers plant is as low as it has ever been.

At the very least C&C need to engage with the remainder of their existing workforce in a manner that respects the rights of staff to be treated with fairness”, concluded Deputy McGrath.