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Bausch and Lomb



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,065 ✭✭✭ hardybuck

    Seems like a big own goal by the union committee and officials if they wouldn't even bring an improved pay offer to their members for ballot.

    When you see things like that happening you really have to wonder if a couple of the union negotiators have taken the hump and aren't prepared to keep talking.

    In terms of Waterford's union reputation, I had to laugh recently when the Waterford branch of the biggest public service union (FORSA) brought a motion at their annual conference where they were seeking a 30% pay rise in year one of any new national pay agreement. The mind boggles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    Until the offer is made public I dont think anyone can criticise or support either side.

    There has to be a trade off/compromise.

    What was the first offer by the company?

    What are the "members" (not handful of reps) looking for/willing to accept?

    What aspects of the original offer from the company have been improved and by how much?

    Is it just pay??

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,982 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    best of luck to the lads, we cant keep bowing to the accumulation of wealth, many of these large corporations are making record profits, but are showing very little interest in sharing it, particularly amongst its employees, particularly the lower waged earners!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,065 ✭✭✭ hardybuck

    Sure isn't that the point the employer are making? They made an offer but SIPTU officials decided not to bring it back to the members for ballot.

    Hope this ends well but it doesn't look good.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 419 ✭✭ niallo76

    The offer by the company was by no means improved..

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,065 ✭✭✭ hardybuck

    But what if the members were prepared to accept it?

    Over the years the teachers union members have gone against their executive on a couple of occasions, in situations were their executives were refusing to agree to terms which their members wanted to accept.

    Sometimes these things can be escalated by personal rivalries or by one or two people who aren't good negotiators, or even by people who are just difficult to deal with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,982 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    "The offer proposed last Tuesday 7th June consisted of an improvement to terms and conditions amounting to 10.8% for the average operator in the site over 3 years. By the end of the agreement a 4-cycle shift operator will earn a weekly wage of over €1,000 (basic + shift premium).”

    The offer was more than what the LRC recommended.

    So what are SIPTU reps (not members) looking for exactly?

    Post edited by Hijpo on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,171 ✭✭✭ Samsgirl

    Didn't B&L once day that if there was ever a strike at the plant they would shut up shop and go?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 512 ✭✭✭ MakersMark

    52 grand a year for relatively unskilled labour is very good to be fair.

    It's not a semiconductor plant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    If putting the general operators of automated machinery on 1k a week which was more than the LRC recommended was not an improved offer I don't know what your idea of improvement is.

  • Posts: 0 Clay Hissing Wig

    Inflation running at 8% per annum,i cant see 10% over 3 years being enough to satisfy any union negociator

    That being said,anyone i know in B&L dont want to go out either🤷‍♂️

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,217 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly

    Saw siptu cause me and 300 more to loose our jobs in 2009.

    They wouldn't believe the company even after seeing the books. All the union heads kept their jobs and got promotions.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    We are in high inflation… that needs to be considered, but it is relatively recent and may be short term. Hard to factor that into a 3 year deal.

    One other thing, for a long standing company you will have lifers that would love a redundancy, they may be holding out… usually not all workers are in the same boat.

    ^^^ is from experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    The union reps need to be realistic, increases related to inflation, not possible to achieve that, as a business it would be suicide.

    What about the increases received when inflation was stable?

    If people don't want to go out then the union need to be made aware of it and a vote needs to be called. The fact this isn't happening and the reps refused to bring it to the members (first of all) wouldn't sit well with me. Now the members are forced into industrial action (costing them money and job security) for something they would be happy to accept but are not allowed to, seems insane.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,982 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    yes, for most, if not all sme's rate increases linked to inflation probably would be suicide, but its always important to remember, large corporations have far more state and other institutional protections in place, compared to sme's. if required, the flood gates are regularly opened for them, in regards bail outs, debt forgiveness, and other public polices which were clearly designed for them, such as qe, which just (re)inflated asset prices, including share prices. many of these corporations have also been showing record high profits, in particularly during covid, when of course many sme's were closed, i.e. large corporations are almost incomparable to most sme's, due to the bias in protective measures in place

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    But you are not dealing with THE large corporation. Your dealing solely with a manufacturing plant in Waterford that employs a number of families, not just people. Bausch and Lomb waterford are one rib of a large corporate umbrella not the fabric, they still need to compete within that corporation not to mention other lens manufacturers.

    When covid hit B+L stayed open and kept people working earning full pay.

    Not sure how protections play into wage increases.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,982 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    ...but exactly that, the factory is a part of a larger conglomerate, for example, i use to work for a similar szied corporation, and in its first 30 years of existence in the region, it never made a profit, even though the business is in fact highly successful, and extraordinary wealthy! you will find that this is a very common outcome for such organisations, ive even had previous managers admit to me that something is very wrong with this set up, and you d wonder why we re seriously struggling to provide ourselves with our most critical of needs, including our health care needs!

    we ve wrapped ourselves in a knot over all this competitive stuff, and its clearly obvious, its starting to collapse, being competitive shouldnt mean that more and more are simply unable to meet their most critical of needs, including the workers that have played a vital role in creating all of this wealth!

    its clearly obvious that theres far more protective measures in place to protect the wealth thats created by such businesses, but very little, if any protections in place for the workers of such, i.e. its clearly obvious that this approach was, and still is, in fact intentional, and it has worked. we re now coming to an end of this era, and it has the potential to end very harshly, this is only the beginning of such disputes..... we ve been experiencing a period of rapid asset price inflation, including property price inflation, but wage inflation has been intentionally kept low, they have decoupled enough now to cause severe de-stabilisations, i.e. causing rapidly rising wealth inequalities, and all it brings.... this isnt good for any of us, even the wealthy entities in our societies..

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Not sure what you're trying to say there. What's the conspiracy behind the multinationals you mention not being profitable?

    Damn horrid multinational companies... and yet the Irish have never been so wealthy. Contrast to the Irish generations back when emigration was the best option.

    Ireland is paying huge levels of social welfare to its citizens. What countries are treating its citizens better? Even someone with your mindset will easily list dozens where its citizens are treated worse... far worse.

    You may be right, we may be at the start of an age of industrial unrest, just not sure it's going to end well for those agitating. B&L will be very telling.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    But none of that has anything to with the current situation of general ops getting a bump to 1k a week which is an improved offer on what the LRC has recommended.

    And whatever else was in the deal. Is there back pay?

    General ops in there could be on 45k+ a year at the moment for unskilled work (I only say unskilled because a qualification is not necessary and I don't know a better term to use, it's not meant to be derogatory). What about clerical positions that pay the same (if they do) in there at the moment, do they also get a bump to keep them in line with ops?

    Does everyone in the plant get an 8% increase year on year because of inflation?

    The point I'm making is that pay is a tricky situation, you can't just say "the company makes a profit, the general ops should get 10% pay increase every year because buying things is difficult". It's a much bigger and trickier puzzle than that. How does the waterford plant stay competitive and make profits if the whole plant gets a wage increase in line with inflation or even just to keep salary gaps stable?

    Personally I would be delighted to know that in 3 years time I can earn 51k without having to put in any extra effort.

  • Registered Users Posts: 872 ✭✭✭ Captain Red Beard

    Where are you getting the idea that they want 10% every year from?

    Where are you getting any of the figures you're throwing around from?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    The 10% is to cover the inflation reason brought up by another poster. I didn't didn't say they want 10%.

    1k a week is the figure after the 3 years as mentioned in the report in the news and star.

    Do you know something different?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    Very true.

    I guess the other pharma jobs are guide wires and medication where there's a big responsibility on the operators to get things exactly right because the cost of making those is significantly higher and failed parts is extremely costly.

    Lenses manufactured in high volumes to be discarded willy nilly is a different story.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,296 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cabaal

    I get the frustration caused to the workers and the 10% over 3 years isn't awful, but strike action seems extremely ill timed and this could very easily end very badly for Waterford.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,982 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    ....the reality is, large corporations are effectively playing an accountancy game, making it seem like theyre not as profitable as they are, again, ive had head accountants of such companies confirm this to me, its ultimately a game of wide scale global tax avoidance, which results in us being unable to provide ourselves with our most critical of needs, property, health care etc etc. this also means the need for the increase in taxation, in order to try resolve this is ultimately a your problem, i.e. you ve been experiencing tax increases year on year, this is an unsustainable approach, and simply isnt working!

    our new found wealth is largely mythical, we ve managed to convince ourselves that we have become extremely wealthy, this is of course true to a degree, but also not so true in other ways. wealth is generally stored in the value of assets such as property, but this overall game, including the overall operations of large corporations, is now leading to a rapid rise in wealth inequalities, whereby a rapidly rising number of citizens are simply unable to meet their most critical of needs, again, very evident in their property and health care needs, and it clearly obvious, the operations of large corporations are playing in critical role in this outcome!

    large corporations play a critical role in our economies and societies, the most obvious being in providing employment, but i personally suspect they create far more employment indirectly than directly, but of course thats debatable, i also think one of their main critical functions is creating and maintaining major global supply chains, without which, our modern economies simply wouldnt survive.

    yes, elements of our modern societies certainly are far superior than previous generations, but theres clearly something going badly wrong, for the reasons explained above, we re clearly in a rapid state of deterioration in other more critical ways....

    again, another myth, the welfare thing, welfare is so well paid, as soon as a large proportion of workers were forced onto it, we immediately had to almost double it over night, in order for them to survive. huge levels of welfare payments, i think not! pup also confirmed, increasing welfare actually directly improved both the welfare of those citizens, and the well being of the overall economy, as this money was spent into the economy!

    yes, this is a serious risk for the workers of b&l, the company could decide to move on, leaving us with an even bigger problem, but something has to give, we ve been experiencing wide scale property price inflation for decades, and now inflation has also turned up, yet some of these large corporations are still cleaning up, some still announcing record profits, something isnt right, something has to give!

    its unfortunate that it has come to this, but the tools available to the workforce have become extremely limited in order to force changes, hence the decision to strike, but it is very risky, i wish them the best

    yes this is a very tricky one for everyone involved, including the company, but its clearly obvious, the workforce is generally getting the sh1t end of the stick, we cant keep playing this game, being more competitive shouldnt mean you shaft as many as possible in order to be so.... as this approach could simply mean failure for everyone eventually.... the needs of all need to be considered at all stages, in order for it all to survive, the workforce needs to be a bigger part of the whole process, we truly should be doing what other countries do such as germany, the workforce needs to be a part of boards of such companies, in order to make this happen, this is legislation in germany.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    None of what you have said is applicable in this country and isn't relevant to the situation unfolding in the waterford plant. You are still fixated on corporate level issues.

    I don't see a bump to 1k a week as shafting people or getting the **** end of the stick. Realistically people in pharma jobs are doing pretty okay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,982 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78 ireland doesnt play a critical role in the global corporate supply chain, including in regards corporate taxation, and ultimately, the lack of it, and this factory is completely separate to this global network!

    yes a bump to 1k a week would certainly help most, but it has taken this action to force this possibility!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,485 ✭✭✭ Hijpo

    That's not the issue here though. You are going off on tangents about something that's way above the waterford plant and bigger than B+L.

    Is the LRC conspiring against General operatives since their recommendations were not seen to be good enough?

    The improved offer was made before active industrial action though and 1k a week doesn't seem like its enough. No body seems to know what is enough which is strange.