Axed factory workers try to drag Dell into court
'Can't we just talk about this?'
Former Dell workers axed from its Limerick factory are going to court to try and secure better redundancy packages from the US PC giant.
The Dell Workers Committee is bringing a case covering 2,000 workers to Ireland's Labour Court, the Irish Times reports.
The committee claims that when Dell announced its plan to cease production at the Limerick plant it refused to discuss its decision with workers.
"We want to highlight our grievances with the company over the redundancy package currently on offer and there are a number of other issues which we will be highlighting in our report, which will probably run to 20 or 25 pages,” the committee's Denis Ryan told the paper.
Labour MEP Alan Kelly, who has been advising the workers, said “It is highly regrettable that Dell did not respect the institutions of the State and meet the workers at the LRC in the first instance."
Unfortunately for the workers, Dell is not actually required to appear at the hearing or to submit evidence.
Dell's shuttering of manufacturing at the Limerick plant after 17 years was a hammer blow for the Irish economy, which was already reeling after the sudden failure of the state's consumer and property booms.
The Irish government tried desperately to save the jobs, aware that another 9,500 jobs in the region depended on the Dell production line.
Six months on, and if anything Ireland's situation looks worse. A conference in Dublin yesterday was told that employment won't return to boom-time levels until 2022. ®
Not the first time, Dell!
This isn't the first time, nor will it be the last time Dell withholds info from staff. I used to work for them in Limerick a few years ago, and the amount of stuff I heard from other staff rather than management themselves was atrocious.
This, and their crappy marketing & manufacturing procedures (non standard hardware, locking customers into the brand for parts etc) made me quit working for them, and go with Tiny and Evesham. Getting parts for Dells back then wasn't as easy as eBay, not many people sold them on a third party basis. Since then I've done freelance for various companies, and none have been as bad as Dell. Industry standardization is the key, including staff motivation and information.
Dell package isn't that bad
Six weeks pay for every year of service up to a max 104 weeks (so, two years pay for the long termers who set the place up). As I understand it a lot of the annoyance is that a big chunk of the payout is statutory anyway, and the workers were expecting something well over and above.
The size of the statutory element may give people a clue as to why, despite generous corporation tax benefits, companies are no longer flocking to Ireland's fair shores; labour costs are ridiculous and dole payments (that the country can't afford) are positively sybaritic by UK standards. There are still an awful of people in Ireland who just refuse to accept the new realities, and are quite definitely living in a place in Egypt.
Since they're laying off personel then maybe Dell should layoff the importing any more PC to Ireland since if it's business is so slow then they must not be making sales in Ireland.
I imagine if they closed the plant there and then started importing them from China or some other country with 3rd world pay scales for labor that would just be immoral, a slap in the face of the laid off worker and the community in general since it is going to have a ripple effect just like any large plant closing does on local business.
It would be especially immoral if they didn't cut out all executive and managerial pay raises, bonuses, perks, and stock options for the entire company before laying off entire factories and crippling local communities. I also know that anyone that knows someone from that factory will probably never buy another Dell because of the bind Dell is leaving these employees in out of sympathy.
I'm in two minds about that:
(1) A company is well within its rights to decide that a factory/store/whatever is not worth keeping open.
(2) Did it shaft the workers/office staff in the process (for example, by closing the factory in such as way as to allow it not to pay redundancy)?
If (2), then by all means take the company to court. But if the problem is that Dell simply didn't bother to consult the workers but followed the "termination" clause of the contract, then it's a case of no-go - there is nothing in any employment contract I've ever read that says the company has to consult with you first before closing a branch/office/whatever.
WTF has this to do with the EEC. This is a US company shitting on Non-US staff.
Pretty standard practise.