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'None of us thought we'd be there this long' - Vita Cortex workers celebrate

Former workers at the foam manufacturer will remain at the plant in Cork until the money is paid into their accounts but have hailed the resolution to the dispute.
May 3rd 2012, 7:44 AM 1,862 15

FORMER WORKERS AT the Vita Cortex plant in Cork are celebrating this morning after a resolution was agreed with management to bring an end to their 139 day sit-in.

Thirty-two workers at the closed plant have been staging a sit-in since last December over redundancy payments they said they were owed by management at the foam manufacturing plant.

Though a resolution has been reached workers will remain at the plant until the money is paid to them.  Few details of the resolution have been released.

Last night, negotiations between workers, a SIPTU trade union representative and management at the Metropole in Cork yielded what SIPTU described as an “equitable conclusion”.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, spokesman for the group Jim Power said: “It was a reasonable offer and in the circumstances the lads decided to accept it.

“After the last 139 days you can imagine the way people will have been, everybody seemed to be happy enough with it anyway. Two of the lads rang me yesterday evening and said they were all happy enough with it.”

Power explained how workers had operated in shifts, sitting-in at the plant from 8am until 4pm then 4pm until 12am and then overnight from 12am to 8am.

The workers received support from the likes of Noam Chomsky and Sir Alex Ferguson, Power said: “The support from the people out there we just really couldn’t believe.”

Last night, the Taoiseach welcomed the end to the dispute saying he had been “deeply impressed” by the workers’ “determination and sincerity” when he had met with them two months ago.

Power continued: “Everybody stuck with it and played their part. In that time we’ve had birthdays, weddings, deaths, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Paddy’s day. Everybody stuck with it but it definitely took its toll so we’re just really glad it’s over.”

Workers intend to remain at the plant on the Kinsale Road in Cork until the money they are owed is paid into their bank accounts. Power added: “None of us really thought we’d be there this long but we were.”

Vita Cortex sit-in ends as workers agree settlement

Taoiseach welcomes end of Vita Cortex dispute

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Hugh O'Connell

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