Nenagh-based Carey group warned dispute may shatter ‘Best in Glass’ claim

Unite highlights reputational risks to group if dispute not resolved

Unite members in dispute with Vista Therm travelled to Nenagh, headquarters of the Carey Glass group of companies, today (Friday) to highlight Vista Therm’s refusal to talk to workers about a cost-of-living pay increase.

Vista Therm workers set up stalls in Nenagh town centre and gathered signatures for a petition asking people to support the workers’ demands that management recognise their union Unite, negotiate a cost-of-living pay increase, and treat workers with dignity and respect. 

Unite is calling on Carey Glass to intervene and resolve the long-running dispute which has seen production at the Lurgan plant severely curtailed.

Vista Therm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carey Glass Holdings Unlimited Company, which also owns the Carey Glass factory in Nenagh and a production facility in Chester. 

The Carey group of companies is owned by members of the Carey family and comprises an intricate web of entities registered in Ireland, the UK, Jersey and the British Virgin Islands. 

Although the company is highly profitable, a recent Unite survey showed that four in every five members working for Vista Therm have seen their living standards fall, while a shocking 95 per cent are worried about their household finances.

Notwithstanding the fact that Vista Therm is highly profitable, local management has refused to engage collectively with workers to negotiate a cost-of-living pay increase.  Instead, in a blatant attempt at union-busting, management has suspended a shop steward and threatened other members with disciplinary action.

Commenting, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

“Thanks to the commitment and expertise of workers in Nenagh, Lurgan and Chester, Carey Glass and Vista Therm have become synonymous with high-performance glass processing, supplying flagship projects around the world.  However, their reputation for excellence is being undermined by the refusal of local management in Lurgan to sit down with Unite and negotiate a cost-of-living pay increase.  Unite members in Vista Therm have been treated with a complete lack of respect, leaving them with no option but to take industrial action.

“If they want to avoid shattering their ‘Best in Glass’ claim, Carey Glass must step up and resolve this dispute by instructing local management to desist from their blatant attempt at union-busting and instead talk to their workers about a real pay increase.”

Unite Regional Officer Neil Moore added:

“The intransigence of local management in Lurgan resulted in a unanimous vote of Unite members for strike action, severely curtailing production and posing a risk of reputational damage to the Carey group of companies.  It is now up to Carey Glass to intervene to ensure that Vista Therm treats workers with the respect they deserve.”