Farm Ireland

Monday 23 October 2017

Management called on to run Cheesestrings plant as more industrial action planned

Stock image Photo: Gerry Mooney
Stock image Photo: Gerry Mooney
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Kerry Group management could be faced with running its Cheesestrings plant again as SIPTU plans further industrial action.

Management from Kerry were called into its Charleville plant this week as SIPTU members staged a protest at the Cork factory this week.

And SIPTU has confirmed that it will stage two further 24-hour work stoppages next week, on Tuesday and Friday, and another two the following week.

SIPTU also called on the management of Kerry Group plant in Charleville to desist from using ‘strike breakers’ or face the further escalation of a dispute which it says results from the company’s refusal to attend the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

SIPTU Organiser, Terry Bryan, said: “Workers at the food ingredient plants were conducting a 24-hour work stoppage….unfortunately, the company has taken the highly provocative step of utilising strike breakers to run one of the plants. This has been done to undermine our members while they are engaging in a legitimate trade dispute.”

A spokesperson for Kerry confirmed that management had worked in the factory in order to maintain standards in the plant and ensure that its customers needs were met.

However, SIPTU said that Kerry management has issued its members with notice of lay off and protective notice.

“These moves are unnecessary and unwarranted as the dispute could be resolved simply by the company agreeing to return to the WRC. This would be both compliant with the company’s agreed dispute resolutions procedures and indicate its respect for the State’s industrial dispute resolution mechanisms.”

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According to SIPTU, the items that are in dispute at the Kerry Group plants include proposed changes to shift patterns and terms, job rotation and appointments.

It also says that According to SIPTU these matters were due before the Labour Court on November 28, but management withdrew from that scheduled hearing and has now refused to attend a conciliation meeting at the WRC.

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