Belfast Telegraph

Meeting demanded over jobs' claim

Union leaders have demanded an urgent meeting with management at Keelings Distribution Limited over reports 130 workers will be laid off.

Siptu claimed its members were notified by phone that they face redundancy because the company lost a contract at Tesco.

It is understood most of the members affected are drivers, along with some management and support staff.

Siptu vowed to ballot all 600 members at the company for strike action if it proceeds with the job losses in breach of agreements.

Siptu sector organiser Pat Ward said: "We are demanding an immediate meeting with the company as the decision to make staff redundant is in complete breach of our agreements, not to mention the Information and Consultation Act requiring them to give staff and the union proper notice of proposed job losses.

"This is an outrage. Only in April we concluded a ground-breaking agreement with Keelings in which we agreed to greater flexibility, a pay freeze and reduced rates for new recruits. We did so because of assurances from the company that the savings would ensure job security.

"The ink is hardly dry on the agreement when it is being torn up."

Siptu maintained the contract has gone to Stobart Ireland Limited, which is a non-union company, with Keelings employees offered a transfer to Stobart as an alternative to unemployment.

No one at Keelings was available for comment.

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