THE TAOISEACH HAS this evening welcomed the end of the long-running protest at the Vita Cortex plant in Cork, saying that the agreement reached had brought to an end “a long period of uncertainty” for the workers and their families.
“I am relieved that a resolution has been found and a conclusion has been brought to a long period of uncertainty and anxiety for the Vita Cortex workers and their families,” Enda Kenny said in a statement this evening. “The workers have displayed enormous dignity and fortitude throughout their almost 20-week campaign.
Thirty-two workers at the closed plant had staged a sit-in for 139 days over redundancy pay they say they were owed by management.
After talks this evening at a Cork hotel, the workers confirmed they had accepted new proposals. A statement from Siptu, which represents the workers, said the settlement would mean an “equitable conclusion” to the dispute.
Kenny he had mentioned in the Dáil this week that the workers deserved respect for their “long years of committed and diligent service” and that he hoped today’s resolution would bring closure to what has been a traumatic period for them.
“I was deeply impressed by their determination and sincerity when I met them eight weeks ago and I wish them all the best in the future now that their long campaign has come to an end,” he added.
Labour Party TD for Cork South Central Ciaran Lynch also welcomed the news of the resolution, saying that while it was “regrettable” that it has taken 139 days for the situation to be resolved, the workers at the centre of the dispute should be commended and congratulated for “sustaining their campaign to be treated with fairness and respect”.
He added that the episode underlined the need for an extensive examination regarding how companies who plead an inability to pay claims redundancy payments are dealt with in the future.