WATCH: Blow to Limerick as storage factory set to close

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

A RECORDS storage company is closing its factory in Limerick, in a move which will see eight jobs lost.

Iron Mountain, which has a base at the Dock Road, among other things, stores the records of patients at University Hospital Limerick.

Now, it's emerged the firm to cease operations in Limerick, with documents seen by the Leader indicating its set to close at the end of July.

Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan raised the matter in the Upper House today, and criticised the firm for allegedly refusing to engage with long-serving staff on a collective basis, instead favouring independent consultation.

The former Siptu union official said: "Iron Mountain is a global US company. It manages files for University Hospital Limerick. It also does a lot of work for the ombudsman service. It makes millions of tax-payers money. We are giving huge amounts of tax payers money to companies who in turn, turn around to workers who've worked there 17 years, and have basically said we are not interested in what you want to discuss. We are going to close the place in July, and you will get the minimum redundancy."

He said when their union Siptu wrote to the company seeking a consultation, the firm wrote back saying it wouldn't consult with the union.

"Imagine how you'd feel as a worker of 17 years' service, who started on minimum wage. All you want is a decent settlement. Unfortunately, you are denied the right to even negotiate this settlement, because Collective Bargaining legislation is not in place. We've workers in Iron Mountain today who are voiceless, they've nowhere to turn," Mr Gavan added.

He urged his Seanad colleagues to push for the legislation to ensure that firms benefitting from State contracts be subject to a clause they must recognise trade unions, and negotiate with them.

In response, the leader of the Seanad, the former Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty pledged to write to Iron Mountain on the matter.

"The very least we need to do. Any state-supported company has to have a minimum standard of engagement with employees and it certainly seems or it sounds like it is falling far short," she said.

Iron Mountain did not return a request for comment from the Limerick Leader.