Up to 230 jobs are affected by the move, condemned last night by local TD for the area, Joe Sherlock as “another appalling move by Dairygold that strikes at the heart of the local community”.
Mitchelstown solicitor John Brooks confirmed he is acting for up to 40 employees in the area whose jobs were axed under the Galtee closure.
Involved are former employees with long service who ended up getting less money in some cases than those with half their level of service with the group.
That happened because the group capped the amount payable to 2.2 years’ salary for the Galtee workers with long service.
They complain also they were just given a few hours to agree terms on September 21 when their SIPTU union negotiators presented them with the final offer from the company.
Former workers Billy Cahill and Michael Whelan with more than 70 years’ service between them confirmed this yesterday.
“My gripe is that workers with 14 years’ service got more in redundancy than I did after 35 years,” said Mr Cahill.
“I am also unhappy with the way SIPTU handled the negotiations on our behalf,” he said.
Mr Cahill says the terms were changed from the agreement set out in October 2003.
As a result one colleague, who would have been paid €150,000 if he left before end 2003, is entitled to just €70,000, said Mr Cahill.
Workers are angry and, for that reason, many are considering their legal position according to Mr Brooks.
He said he was acting for a number of those concerned about the way they were treated.
Mr Brooks, who is also a member of the Mitchelstown Business Association, said workers “have been very badly treated by the company in the overall redundancy situation”.
Commenting on the latest transfer of jobs out of Mitchelstown and Mallow chief executive, Jerry Henchy said the move was part of the overall strategy to make the company more efficient and more profitable.
“We have had to look at how we manage and administer the business - from the very top down - with a view to ensuring that these functions are carried out as efficiently and cost effectively as possible,” he said.