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Conversations surrounding the future of Avara Pharma Group will be held on Friday (tomorrow) under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) at the Shannon plant of the company.

SIPTU representatives will meet with liquidators of the pharmaceutical firm in Shannon which employs 114 people having previously done so since a High Court ruling at the end of July. Sector Organiser, Alan O’Leary told The Clare Echo, “Our aim is to save as many of our members’ jobs as possible. We are insisting that our members are retained in full employment while we await confirmation or otherwise of the potential for a sale of the business. We understand that several potential buyers have expressed an interest in the plant”.

O’Leary described the talks thus far as “very complex and difficult”. They have focused on the pay and conditions to workers and the staffing levels required to safely run the plant. “A major concern is the retention of key personnel to ensure the safe operation of the plant”.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys plus Minister of State, Pat Breen have heard concerns about the consultation process from SIPTU. “We have also formally requested that the statutory 30-day consultation period for dealing with collective redundancies which ended yesterday be extended. A petition containing 8,000 signatures has been gathered supporting this request and we are currently awaiting a formal response from the Minister regarding it”.

As the negotiations now enters what O’Leary described “a very sensitive phase” as part of the formal WRC process, all sides are precluded from publicly commenting further on the details until a conclusion has been reached.

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