Spillane to headline candlelit vigil for Vita Cortex workers

Family and friends of the Vita Cortex workers are planning a candlelit vigil at the factory next week.

They have invited the public to “stand in solidarity” with the workers at 7.30pm on Friday March 2. By that stage, the workers will be in the 11th week of their sit-in at the former foam packaging factory in Cork.

Singer songwriter John Spillane, who has pledged his support to their ongoing campaign for redundancy entitlements, has agreed to perform at the event.

“I am delighted to be able to go along and belt out a few songs in solidarity with the workers,” Mr Spillane said.

“They have shown incredible dignity in the face of unfair treatment.

“It is about time that they received justice for all their years of hard work.”

He will be joined by West Cork-based singer Deirdre Archbold, a finalist on the 2008 edition of You’re a Star, as well as local guitarist Terry Lingwood.

Mr Lingwood has penned two songs about the Vita Cortex struggle entitled ‘Where Will They Stay?’ and ‘The Vita Cortex 32 — they will not be moved’.

President of the Cork Council of Trade Unions Ann Piggott has been invited to address supporters of the workers on the night.

“We want to have an evening where members of the community can stand with us in a different setting and atmosphere to the more traditional forms of protest,” said former Vita Cortex worker Greg Marshall.

“We are delighted that John Spillane has rowed in behind our cause. He is a great Corkonian and we all love his songs.”

“We hope that the vigil will symbolise the strength and togetherness that have been the cornerstones of this campaign since the first day,” said Darren O’Keeffe, co-ordinator of the Support the Vita Cortex Workers campaign.

“It will stand in great contrast to the nature of the comments coming from directors of the company in the last few days.”

The workers at the factory on the Kinsale Road, in Cork, are continuing their sit-in into its third month.

They are refusing to leave the plant until they get an ex-gratia payment they say their former employer, Jack Ronan, promised them when the closure of the plant was announced last September.

Mr Ronan, employers’ group Ibec and Vita Cortex director Sean McHenry have all denied the ex-gratia payment was ever promised.

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