Vita workers’ redundancy to be paid from today

Vita Cortex workers are expecting redundancy funds to begin flowing into their bank accounts from today as their marathon 151-day sit-in nears its end.

Siptu official Anne Egar said the confidential deal agreed just over a week ago between the workers and their former employer, Jack Ronan, provides for the payments to be made electronically from today. The process is expected to take a few days.

The workers, who have occupied the plant since it shut down on Dec 16 last, have vowed to continue their sit-in until everyone has received their ex gratia payment.

Today is the 151st day of their marathon sit-in.

Plans are being made for a ceremonial march out of the factory towards the end of this week to mark the end of what has been one of the longest sit-ins in Irish industrial relations history.

Greg Marshall, who worked for the company for 37 years, said he and his colleagues were hopeful this would be their last weekend in the plant.

“But it’s not over until everyone is paid. Nobody’s leaving here until everyone is paid,” he said.

Co-worker Cal O’Leary said they were hopeful that the end was in sight and that they could leave the factory and get on with their lives.

“We are just really looking forward to spending time with our families,” he said.

The workers were joined by family and close friends yesterday for what they hope will be the last Mass in the factory canteen.

Ballyphehane parish priest Fr Michael Murphy, who celebrated Mass in the canteen on Christmas Day, on day 100 of the sit-in last March, and on Easter Sunday last month, told the workers they had been an example to the entire country.

He urged the Government to act to ensure a situation like this could never happen again.

“When God made the world, he made it so that there is enough for everyone,” he said.

“The people who are in the business of running the country have got a colossal burden today.

“It’s up to our legislators to legislate in such a way that there is enough for everyone.”

He offered continued support to the younger ex-Vita Cortex employees who were hoping to find new jobs.

Socialist Party Cllr Mick Barry visited the workers afterwards and congratulated them on their campaign.

“They have run a fantastic campaign. They have shown great determination to stick up for their rights and the rights of all workers,” he said.

“The memory of what these people have done will become part of the history and tradition of working-class people.”


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