The Labour Court has recommended that Siptu members working at Abbott's nutrition plant at Cootehill receive a pay increase over and above what the firm has been offering.
The plant at Cootehill on the Cavan-Monaghan border is part of Abbott's nutrition division making specialised infant formula. About 1,000 dairy farms, both sides of the Border, supply milk to the Cootehill facility, which processes 500,000 litres per day.
Seeking a pay increase before the Labour Court for members at Cootehill, Siptu argued that the company has experienced significant change in recent years "and much of this is positive, with increased orders".
The union said the plant and company are highly profitable, and the increased responsibilities that have come about through the recent restructuring, together with a greater workload and improved efficiencies, must be acknowledged.
In response, Abbott told the Labour Court that the company operates in a deeply competitive market and that the terms and conditions at the Cootehill plant are extremely favourable.
Abbott stated that the company offers an excellent range of benefits which even further enhance the high compensation employees receive.
It added "the rates of pay currently paid to employees are extremely competitive and the increases offered exceed those applicable by reference to industry and regional comparisons".
In its recommendation, the Labour Court stated that "the union submitted claims for substantial increases in pay due to increased responsibility and workloads associated with the level of changes taking place in the organisational structure of the company".