Workers end hunger strike as deal is struck

Workers at a frozen pizza factory ended their hunger strike today after striking a deal with bosses over the sacking of three men.

Union leaders said they hammered out a confidential agreement with Kildare-based Green Isle Foods in overnight talks to resolve the deepening dispute.

It is believed both sides negotiated compensation for three men dismissed from the company’s Naas plant last July for alleged breaches of the company’s IT policy.

A third man – one of those sacked – had joined two other colleagues on the two-week-old fast last night after being told his visa had not been renewed and he must return to his native Philippines.

In a joint statement, Green Isle and the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) said talks, which started at 5pm yesterday and ended at 8am today, resulted in both parties agreeing to proposals put forward by independent mediators, Kildare TDs Bernard Durkan and Jack Wall.

“The agreement will be implemented, and accordingly, all forms of industrial action and other activity will cease with immediate effect,” they said.

“Both parties will be bound by confidentiality under the terms of the mediation agreement.”

The TEEU said it would fight on to revoke a deportation order on Filipino John Recto who has been ordered to leave the country on Monday, as his work visa expires.

The father of three last night joined Green Isle shop steward Jim Wyse, who has been living on just water and salt for 15 days, and former Offaly All-Ireland footballer John Guinan who began fasting last week.

Neither Mr Wyse nor Mr Guinan were among the three men sacked.

Green Isle claimed the workers were sacked over the viewing of “adult material” and copyright breaches, but the workers insisted they were scapegoated after employees saw a management email about cutbacks.

A union official said Mr Recto was sacked over a “very technical” breach of copyright that was unknown to him.

In December, the Labour Court recommended the workers be reinstated or compensated as the sackings were unjustified.

The compensation was set at €40,000 €60,000 and €80,000, depending on their years of service.

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