Workers at Tara Mines  are today continuing staged what was described as “a blockade” of the facility on Wednesday evening as talks at the Workplace Relations Commission failed to produce an agreement on the terms of the temporary closure due to take effect next week.

The talks had ended “without any substantial progress in relation to the threatened temporary closure of the mine,” according to Siptu divisional organiser Adrian Kane who said the two sides would be back at the WRC on Friday

Tara Mines, plans to suspend the operation and temporarily lay off 650 workers later this month,scheduled for the 14th July .

Speaking to workers today Meath West TD, Peadar Toíbin, said, “We are now approaching 1 month since Tara Mines management announced closure of the mine and yet we are in the incredible situation whereby the dispute between the workers and the management is escalating. Its incredible that workers who have worked for decades, risked their lives for Boliden and made massive profits for that business are being left with nothing at this time. This company has huge cash reserves, they have paid little in corporation taxes or royalties in recent years. They are mining an Irish resource and yet they are dropping workers without any protections.

“We have learned today that unions will ballot this weekend for industrial action. They have been left with little option to be honest. I have invited the three unions, SIPTU, Unite and Connect to address TDs, Senators and Minister in the AV room of Leinster House this coming Wednesday at 2pm. The political bubble does not seem to understand what is at stake. Workers from Tara Mines will also gather outside the Dáil on Wednesday to demonstrate their anger at the lack of economic protections that have been provided to them.

“There is a growing anger in Meath in relation to government inaction. Nothing has been done in terms of the price of electricity which is a key cause of the shutdown. Nothing has been done in terms of an income safety net for workers as exists in other European countries. Indeed Heather Humphreys promised a step down plan to prevent workers who are losing their jobs being pushed off an income cliff just a few months ago. She could introduce emergency legislation to bring that forward now if she wished. The Minister Simon Coveney had promised a meeting with Meath TDs this week. It has not happened. This is not good enough. The crisis is spiralling yet the two stakeholders responsible for it, Boliden the Government are reneging in their responsibilities to workers”.