A MONTH after announcing 1,900 redundancies in Limerick, Dell has been forced to make important concessions to workers. Workers have succeeded in forcing the company to provide a better redundancy package, increasing the cap from 52 to 104 weeks pay and improving the pay rates in the package, which previously covered only basic pay.
This was achieved after one Dell worker, Denis Ryan, collected a petition demanding a better deal. This victory is especially significant in a non-union, repressive company like Dell.
Workers were subjected to gagging orders, preventing them from publicly criticising the company. Threats were made to Denis Ryan that he could be sacked. However, workers’ anger was greater than the culture of fear in the plant and Dell felt the situation could get out of control if they did not offer concessions.
If Dell workers hadn’t got organised and confronted their bosses, they would never have won anything. After the decision by Dell, a meeting of around 80 Dell workers elected a committee to represent workers’ interests. This is an important step. If Dell workers are organised and willing to take strong action, even more can be won.