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File photo. Tim Green via Flickr/Creative Commons

Strike at donkey sanctuary could 'risk' its ability to help animals in future

Siptu claims that the company is in “no financial difficulty” due to government funding, but is still implementing funding.

Updated 1.16pm

THE UNION REPRESENTING staff at a donkey sanctuary in Cork have warned that strike action due to begin today could escalate.

Welfare staff at The Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarroll have been locked in a dispute with management over the company’s decision to make 16 welfare staff redundant.

Head of Operations with the sanctuary Noel Carton dispute this figure, saying it is in fact two full time and eight part time positions, and is the result of a  review “to improve the effectiveness of key welfare tasks”.

He added: “The Donkey Sanctuary has encouraged staff to consider alternative vacancies within the charity. Throughout this consultative process, which commenced on 23 October 2013, the Charity has acted in good faith and consulted on every stage of the process with the welfare team.”

Furthermore, we believe that the action being proposed now by SIPTU and the negative publicity which will surround this action, could be damaging for the long term future of our Irish operation and could have a negative impact on its ability to help donkeys in need in the future.

Carton described it as “disappointed” that the staff were not availing of “internal appeal mechanisms”.

However, Siptu have claimed that the redundancies are not necessary as they believe “the company is in no financial difficulty”.

Organiser Eddie Mullins said that his union had “tried unsuccessfully to engage the company in discussions”.

“This organisation is in receipt of substantial funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and it is unacceptable that it is then unwilling to utilise the industrial relations mechanisms of the State,” he said.

The company has refused a request from the LRC to intervene in this dispute, Mullions said previously.

Workers at the sanctuary will hold two-hour work stoppages every day until the end of the this month, and has already resulted in the cancellation of a ‘Carriage Driving’ and Open Day due to be held this weekend.

Originally published 8.12am

Previously: Workers at donkey sanctuary ballot for industrial action >

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