Over 400 workers are on strike for a wage increase of 6 percent of the cost of living


Around 400 employees of a large manufacturer for the electrical industry will strike because of rising living costs for a wage increase of 6 percent.

iptu members at Kyte Powertech in Co Cavan will begin an industrial action campaign with a 24-hour work stoppage on Friday.

The workers also plan to ban overtime.

The strike comes as employers come under increased pressure to raise wages amid dramatic rises in the cost of living, and business groups and the government warn they cannot chase inflation.

Kyte Powertech manufactures transformers for the electrical industry and its main markets are Ireland, UK and Western Europe.

A company spokesman said it employs 455 people at its Cavan facility with approximately 360 Siptu members and is the largest private employer in the Cavan area.

Siptu claims to have more than 420 members.

Siptu organizer Martin O’Rourke said this was the first time a strike had taken place there.

“Like workers across the economy, they face a livelihood crisis resulting from inflation at its highest in a generation and rising costs of other essential services,” he said.

He said workers are targeting 6 percent a year for three years.

They rejected an employment tribunal recommendation of 3 percent per year for three years, with a 1.5 percent wage increase for welders and an increased Christmas bonus of 400 euros.

The recommendation states that the union originally aimed for an increase of 4 percent per year.

The court said a submission it has since made included a requirement of 6 percent a year.

However, the union had agreed to go ahead with its original demand of 4 per cent a year as that was the amount referred to the court.

“We’re certainly not chasing inflation,” Mr O’Rourke said. “The plant has been there since the 1970s and there have never been any strikes. That shows the level of frustration about the cost of living.”

A spokesman for Kyte Powertech said it was fully committed to increased pay with Siptu and regretted the decision to take industrial action.

“The company has accepted the labor court’s recommendation for the wage increase, even though it went beyond what the company was willing to pay to maintain good labor relations,” he said.

“Given the challenging and uncertain business environment, the company cannot afford to further increase labor costs beyond the Labor Court’s recommendation, which the company sees as the only basis for a solution.” Over 400 workers are on strike for a wage increase of 6 percent of the cost of living

Fry Electronics Team

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