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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 21 August, 2014

Vita Cortex workers set for talks at Labour Relations Commission

Representatives of the 32 staff – whose sit-in enters its 90th day today – will attend talks at the LRC beginning today.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE FORMER WORKERS at the Vita Cortex foam manufacturing plant will today attend talks at the Labour Relations Commission aimed at ending their three-month dispute with their former employer.

Representatives for the 32 employees will resume talks at the LRC today, after an original session of talks broke down six weeks ago.

The talks will hope to offer a breakthrough in the dispute, which has seen the 32 staff sit-in at the plant for 89 days.

The workers had last week described the resumption of LRC talks as “an extremely positive step towards bringing about a just and equitable resolution”.

In a post on their Facebook page this morning, the workers said that spending one day “living in a cold closed-down factory” was too many, and that the length of their own protest was a “damning indictment of Irish company law and the system that created it”.

Today’s talks will not include Vita Cortex owner Jack Ronan. Previous discussions mediated by IBEC, and including Ronan, ended without agreement when SIPTU rejected a compensation offer made by Ronan as “derisory”.

The workers are seeking redundancy payments of 0.9 weeks per year of service, on top of their statutory entitlements – a deal they say is equivalent to payments made to workers who left the company in 2009 and 2010.

This would bring the total redundancy package to €370,000 – a payment that Ronan says he cannot meet.

The workers have received pledges of support from a number of public figures including Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, former Irish international footballer Paul McGrath, actor Cillian Murphy and scholar Noam Chomsky.

In full: TheJournal.ie‘s coverage of the Vita Cortex dispute >

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