CRH to begin conciliatory talks, plans to increase China stake

CRH to begin conciliatory talks, plans to increase China stake
Published: 10 May 2012

Tagged Under: Irish Cement CRH Yatai Cement China 

Irish Cement, a subsidiary of CRH, will begin talks today with representatives of 100 workers who have been on strike for almost five weeks, the Irish Times reports.

Staff at Irish Cement plants in Castlemungret, Co Limerick, and Platin, Co Meath, have been on strike now for almost a month over payments worth €5500-€9500 to each worker.

The staff and their trade union, Siptu, say a Labour Court ruling obliges the company to pay them the cash. However, Irish Cement says the payments are tied to workers accepting pay cuts of up to 23 per cent.

A number of speakers raised the strike at CRH’s annual general meeting yesterday. Chief executive Myles Lee said he did not want to comment directly on the dispute as it was going into conciliation today. But he added the group would like to see both plants back in production as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, the company said it planned to increase its stake in the Yatai cement business in China to 49% from 26% as part of a wider push into emerging markets, the Financial Times newspaper reported on its website.

Chief Executive Myles Lee said CRH was preparing to exercise an option, opening in January 2013, to raise the stake, the report said.

"We are setting the scene at the moment for that and we are keen to increase that stake. Obviously in everything valuation is key, so it has to be at a valuation that makes sense for our shareholders," the report quote Lee as saying.