The future of the New Ross Albatros Fertiliser Factory hung in the balance this week as management unofficially head that one of the company’s six trade unions has rejected their re-organisation programme in a ballot of all unionised employees held on Tuesday last.
Following what the Managing Director, Mr. Anton Rakers, called “a final proposal” by the company, the unions had agreed to hold a ballot to decide whether to accept or reject the firm’s rationalisation programme, which includes the laying off of 70 of the workforce, and it was then stipulated that the implementation of these proposals was dependent on their acceptance by all the unions.
While no official result has yet been issued, and is unlikely to be known until a meeting scheduled to be held between union, management and the Congress of Trade Unions on Friday, in a statement issues on Wednesday afternoon, management said that they had been unofficially informed by one of the trade unions that their proposals had been rejected and added that they were “gravely concerned” for the future of the company.
The firm’s statement said that: “Following a meeting held on 24th August, 1984, details of the company’s final proposals regarding the re-organisation programme were balloted upon on Tuesday, 4th September. The implementation of these proposals was dependent on their acceptance by all the trade unions represented in the company.
“We have not yet been officially informed of the result of the ballot, but one of the trade unions has unofficially informed us that they have rejected the proposals. The company are presently examining the situation and are gravely concerned for the future.”
Secret ballots were held within each of the six unions and the individual trade union results have been sent to the Congress of Trade Unions for over-all assessment. Mr. Rakers has said previously that the rationalisation programme being proposed by the company is “absolutely necessary” if the Dutch-owned firm is to avoid total collapse.