Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Workers offered almost a year's wages in package

Workers at Limavady's doomed Seagate plant have been offered an average of almost a year's salary in a redundancy package, it emerged last night.

Management yesterday offered four weeks pay per year served at the factory to the 768 permanent employees.

Those who stay until the factory closes will also be offered an extra two weeks pay per year served, on condition of steady productivity and attendance.

Management have said that on average, permanent workers have been employed at the plant for eight years, equating to a redundancy offer of 48 weeks pay if they stay until the end.

Last year, the factory's wage bill was £23m, an average of £24,731 per employee.

However, the picture is bleak for the 150 people employed through Grafton Recruitment, who won't be offered anything.

A spokesman for Grafton last night said that the vast majority of workers had only been there for a matter of months, among them many Poles and Slovaks.

The spokesman said: "The temporary workers were on 51 week contracts and therefore are not eligible for any package.

"Grafton has been advised that it is business as usual for these people until the factory closes.

"Between now and then Grafton is confident that all of those with us will be found alternative employment and they will be given preference."

A team of 14 employees elected by the 930-strong workforce to represent them will today begin to hammer out the details of the redundancy deal in a series of meetings with management.

In a boost for non-unionised workers, the UK's largest manufacturing union yesterday stepped in to act as advisors during the redundancy process.

Unite dispatched advisory taskforce officers and organisers to help the 930 workers.

Unite's regional industrial organiser in Derry Gareth Scott said that while the redundancy offer compared favourably with others, concerns remained over the conditions attached.

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