Kerry Group Workers Threaten Strikes Over Carrickmacross Layoffs
SIPTU members at the Kerry Group plant in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, have notified the company that they will conduct three 24-hour work stoppages, unless the decision of making 31 workers redundant without agreement is removed.
According to SIPTU organiser, Jim McVeigh, the members voted “overwhelmingly” in support of industrial action last Friday. Over 300 out of the more than 400 workers at the plant are members, according to SIPTU.
“Management has been notified that our members will conduct three 24-hour work stoppages, on Tuesday 6th, Tuesday 13th and Tuesday 20th March at the Carrickmacross plant,” said McVeigh.
Two weeks ago, Kerry Group announced it would cut back 31 jobs at the facility due to plummeting Sterling rates as a result of Brexit.
The redundancies came after a review in January, which sought to optimise efficiency and ensure the plant remain sustainable and viable in light of the negative currency effects resulting from the Brexit referendum, according to the Kerry Group.
“Certainly there is some of our plants in Ireland, including Carrickmacross, that is selling into the UK market and as we mentioned the Sterling impact has had a negative impact on our business,” said Kerry Group CEO, Edmond Scanlon. “We have to make sure that we’re as best positioned as possible to be competitive in the UK market.”
Voluntary Redundancy Scheme
McVeigh, of SIPTU, said, “The company knows that in order to avoid our members taking this industrial action an agreement to implement a voluntary redundancy scheme is required. This must include an adequate redundancy package for those members of the workforce who wish to leave.”
When asked on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland as to whether the redundancies would be forced or voluntary, Scanlon, responded:
“Look, I think we have to bear in mind that we have 400 people employed in that plant and it’s our job to make sure that we’re as efficient as we possible can, and we’ll run our business as efficiently as we possibly can to make sure the long term viability of that facility.”
McVeigh said that SIPTU representatives are planning to meet with the company later this week to discuss a “fair resolution to this dispute”.
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan