THE FORMER VITA Cortex workers have agreed to restart talks at the Labour Relations Commission which broke down acrimoniously six weeks ago.
The protesters, who have been staging a sit-in at the company’s closed plant since being laid off in December, have agreed to attend discussions starting week.
Siptu, the union representing the 32 former employees, said they welcomed the second invitation from the LRC. The workers are seeking redundancy payments of 0.9 weeks per year of service on top of their statutory entitlements, which they say was previously agreed with management.
In a tweet yesterday, the workers stated that Vita Cortex management would not be participating in the talks, which this time would be between the union and the LRC alone.
However, they said the talks were “an extremely positive step towards bringing about a just and equitable resolution.” Siptu organiser Ann Egar also welcomed the move, saying:
The workers represented by SIPTU in this dispute have welcomed the invitation by the LRC and hope it provides the opportunity to bring an end to this long and difficult battle to secure their agreed redundancy entitlements.
Previous talks at the LRC broke down without resolution in January, while discussions involving all parties and business organisation IBEC ended with Siptu rejecting a “derisory” offer from management.
The workers have received pledges of support from a number of public figures including Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, actor Cillian Murphy, and scholar Noam Chomsky.