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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 21 December, 2014

TEEU in solidarity visit to Vita Cortex workers

The sit-in by the plant’s 32 former workers continues into its 21st day but SIPTU has said its members are ready to talk – if the company is.

TEEU General Secretary Eamon Devoy will be among today's delegation.
TEEU General Secretary Eamon Devoy will be among today's delegation.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A DELEGATION FROM the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union is to visit the Vita Cortex workers currently holding a sit-in at the company’s premises in Cork.

In what they call a solidarity visit, the union’s leaders will present the former Vita Cortex employees with a large hamper of food as a “practical gesture of support” this morning.

The 32 workers, 27 of whom are SIPTU members, have been occupying the plant since 16 December 2011 in pursuit of redundancy payments due to them.

Yesterday, SIPTU confirmed that the company’s former employees will avail of the State’s “industrial relations machinery” to try and secure their redundancy entitlements if Vita Cortex “declares its willingness to come to the table with serious intent”.

The union was responding to a call from Jobs Minister Richard Bruton for both parties to enter discussions.

As the sit-in continues the Minister expressed his concern over the situation. However, he added that the Department of Social Protection – rather than his ministry – has responsibility for redundancy issues.

The 32 staff at the foam manufacturing plant were told in December that NAMA would not release funds to pay the redundancy entitlements. The closure of the Kinsale Road plant was announced in September after the operation’s assets were frozen by the agency.

Read: Minister for Jobs tells both sides in Vita Cortex dispute: it’s time to talk>

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