Saturday 19 October 2019

Beef Plan Movement protests move to Musgraves amid fears for Cork jobs

The Beef Plan Movement brought their protests to Musgraves in Cork on Wednesday, as the ongoing beef dispute continues.

Beef Plan called on farmers to support the protest as protests expand from factory gates to retail distribution centres.

On Monday, approximately 3,000 factory workers were temporarily laid off as meat plants around the country closed their doors due to the ongoing dispute and protests by farmers at factories.

The move came amid further fears for jobs at meat plants in Cork.

On Wednesday, while discussing the current protest at meat factories across the country on the 'Cork Today' show on C103, caller Mary, who has family working in Dawn Meats in Charleville outlined her concerns at job layoffs.

She said as trucks are not allowed leave the factory there is now not enough work and workers realise they will be left go due to no work at the factory. Mary feared who will pay the bills if staff have no jobs to go to.

Mary told presenter Patricia Messinger about her family situation, giving another side of the beef protests.

Meanwhile, The Beef Plan Movement messaged its members through various Whatsapp groups to alert them to Wednesday's protest at Musgraves, saying "peaceful protests will take place outside Musgraves, Tramore Road, Cork".

"We need support for this peaceful protest to send a clear message to retailers that they have a duty of care to their customers and suppliers to support farmers and be transparent on their % share of the retail price."

It came after negotiations between the sides broke down on Monday, as meat factories walked away from the talks due to the ongoing protests.

Meat Industry Ireland, which represents the factories, said that due to the ongoing blockades across most of the beef processing businesses in the country, it had no option but to shut the doors due to the protests, a move that was criticised by SIPTU.

While the Beef Plan has officially distanced itself from the beef protests, another group Independent Farmers, which claims to represent farmers at the gates said some protesting farmers are suggesting they stage a tractor blockade to Dublin, but a spokesperson for the Independent Farmers group said the move could be counterproductive to upset the general public and the decision would be up to individual farmers.