Vita boss urged to accept deal

Former Vita Cortex workers have urged company boss Jack Ronan to accept new recommendations to end their four-month sit-in and let them “go home to their families”.

It follows their vote on Friday to accept the confidential proposals issued after a mediation process broke down. Today is the 130th day of the sit-in at the former foam factory in Cork, making it one of the longest-running disputes of its kind in Irish industrial relations history.

However, a company spokesman “warned against optimism” and said the firm would be considering its position over the coming days.

The proposals were issued by Labour Relations Court-appointed mediators on Friday after the board of Vita Cortex and management pulled out of an agreed mediation process on Thursday night.

The company said the decision to withdraw was not taken lightly but was inevitable due to a number of factors.

“Firstly, the appointed mediators advised that there continued to be a significant distance between the two parties’ positions and secondly that Siptu was not representing all the former workers at the Cork plant,” it said.

It prompted the mediators — Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy, Jack Nash, and John Doherty — to conclude there was no basis for a mediated settlement.

They then issued guidance containing recommendations to both sides which they said would represent a fair and equitable basis to resolve the protracted dispute.

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