“Let them suck it up” – What Norbrook Newry Really Think of Their Workers

A recent statement by the management in Norbrook regarding the payment of workers at Norbrook Laboratories has been rubbished by Saoradh An Iúir and has been described as a complete contradiction of the facts.

Norbrook workers have also reported to Saoradh that during an internal meeting regarding the pay dispite, Norbrook CEO, Liam Nagle quipped “Let them suck it up”.

Last week Saoradh broke the news that the employees were being punished after they were sent home due to the extreme weather conditions. The understanding was that all those affected would be paid their wages as is the norm in such extreme circumstances, however on returning to work employees were informed that to be paid the wages they would have to work these hours up.

Since then we have been contacted by numerous employees thanking us for our intervention and support for the Norbrook Workers.

In this week’s local media a belated statement from Sinn Fein’s Mickey Brady appeared alongside the misleading Norbrook management statement. The statement states “We have communicated to employees that our intention is to pay them for the full working week.”

However Norbrook workers have told Saoradh that they have received no communication from management and that they are still expected to work up the hours.

Not only that but Saoradh can reveal that some workers got paid whilst some did not. This has caused severe confusion among the workforce.

This is the bizarre situation created by Norbrook as it currently stands:

*Some workers were unpaid for the snow closure.
*Some workers were paid for the snow closure, however they have a 3 week period to work up the hours.
*Some workers were paid but the days in question were taken from their holiday entitlement.
*Some workers have been paid with no conditions as of yet.

Supporting the Norbrook workers Saoradh National Executive member Stephen Murney said “From the outset the easiest thing Norbrook could have done would have been to pay the workforce for the snow closure so all of this could have simply been avoided.

“Such was the level of anger amongst the workers, they actually downed tools and stopped production last week in at least one of the Newry factories, this type of radical action is something that is literally unheard of within Norbrook.

“The statement that appeared is nothing but a smokescreen and is clearly an attempt to portray Norbrook in a good light when the reality differs greatly. The disgraceful comments by Liam Nagle shows what the Norbrook management really think of their workforce.”

Murney continued “We will continue to highlight worker’s rights and will not simply throw statements into the local papers as a PR stunt unlike others.

“Hopefully this issue can be resolved and resolved quickly as it’s in no ones interests to let the situation get out of hand completely.

“All the workers want is to be treated fairly and to be paid what is rightfully theirs without any ill-treatment from management.

Reinforcing Saoradh’s support Stephen concluded “We stand firmly behind the Norbrook workers and demand this issue is rectified and people are left in peace to get on with their work. Saoradh will fully support the employees in their struggle to secure what they are owed.

“Whether that struggle involves strike action, or the establishment of a long overdue Trade Union, the Norbrook employees have our full support.”