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Axed factory workers try to drag Dell into court

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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. ®

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