While SIPTU and Unite trade unions have agreed to suspend their strike action at the Cadbury production plant in Coolock, Dublin, a spokesperson for brand owner Mondelez Ireland told Checkout that the action has 'weakened' the competitiveness of the chocolate manufacturing business in Ireland.
The unions suspended their action yesterday (7 March), in order to facilitate discussion and a ballot on proposals set out by the Workplace Relations Commission.
SIPTU sector organizer, John Dunne, said that the WRC "has put forward proposals which achieve cost savings at the company but do not involve the outsourcing of jobs. On the basis that outsourcing is now off the table, SIPTU and Unite members have decided to suspend their strike action."
In advance of the announcement, however, a Mondelez Ireland spokesperson told Checkout that the company is "under pressure to make Ireland more competitive in comparison to other sites, and that imperative remains. So it is fair to say that this industrial action weakens the competitiveness of Ireland’s chocolate manufacturing business here further."
The spokesperson added that around €11.7 million is currently being spent on new technology at the group's Irish operations, while training and work practices for staff are also "being brought up to best in class."
Last week, in two separate statements, Mondelez Ireland said that "any form of industrial action only further undermines the future viability of both the Coolock and Rathmore manufacturing sites," and that the Mondelez manufacturing business in Ireland "remains under intense pressure from international competition".
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones