Speaking during Topical Issues Debates in the Dáil this evening (Wednesday), Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy, Jerry Buttimer, welcomed the intervention by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) in the Vita Cortex dispute and urged the company management and SIPTU to engage fully with the Commission’s process.
“I welcome the news that LRC has invited the management of Vita Cortex and SIPTU to explore possible pathways to resolving this dispute. For 27 days the workers have engaged in a dignified sit-in in an effort to secure their agreed redundancy payments. Hopefully this process will facilitate meaningful engagement between both parties.
“There is now an obligation on both sides to engage fully with the process if there is to be any hope of resolving the issue. In particular the management of the company has a responsibility to engage openly with the LRC.
“I have visited workers at the plant in recent days and empathise with them in their efforts to secure their entitlements. The workers should also be praised for the approach they have adopted throughout, which has seen them contain their dispute and not disrupt work in other parts of the company.
“The industrial relations machinery of the State has always been available to the parties to this dispute; a fact Minister Bruton’s office worked assiduously during the Christmas break to convey. That the first step has now been taken towards exploratory discussions is heartening. I encourage both sides to work with the LRC to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.”