Springs staff could stage sit-in over redundancy
NO AGREEMENT UP TO 70 WORKERS TO LOSE JOBS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
UP TO 70 staff members at Powerscourt Springs, who face a bleak Christmas after they all lose their jobs at the end of this month, may stage a sit-in at the health farm if their redundancy demands are not met.
Negotiations are under way, but a representative of the staff has said that after two meetings with owners, they are no closer to reach an agreement.
Employees are incensed that the offer on the table is for the absolute minimum entitlement - two week’s pay for every year of service.
‘If no conclusion is reached it looks like staff will have to take some kind of action,’ said one employee.
‘The Government gives 60 per cent of this back to the company,’ said a negotiator on behalf of the workers. ‘Many of the staff are of short service and on low pay. It would not be unreasonable to increase the offer to four weeks.’
According to a staff member, the facility was bought 12 years ago for IR£1.9m and the figure being mentioned with regard to a sale is up to three times that amount.
‘We are extremely unhappy,’ said a staff member. ‘We have been loyal and worked hard and are not getting recognition for that.’
She added that there are no jobs out there at the moment. ‘As far as I know, nobody has secured alternative employment.’ Powerscourt Springs is owned by Paul and Fiona Hanby, and Patricia and Gerald Kinsella. Mr. Kinsella was unavailable when his office was contacted by the Bray People yesterday.
The negotiator for the workers claimed that in meetings owners have told him that the company has been struggling and there will be little or no money left over after commitments to the banks are fulfilled.
He said that while other places, such as the toll bridge, have given packages of up to nine weeks, they are not looking for that amount.
‘Even four weeks wouldn’t cost the company that much but would soften the blow for the staff, based on the price they will get for the business and the lack of alternative jobs for the employees,’ he said. ‘We are not seeking to be unreasonable or greedy.’
The representative added that while the sale of the spa may not yield as high an amount as rumoured, there is a buyer in negotiations with the owners.
The Powerscourt Springs health farm.