Mediation efforts fail in Vita Cortex dispute

Attempts to mediate a dispute in the redundancy row at the Vita Cortex plant in Cork have failed, it was announced this afternoon.

Attempts to mediate a dispute in the redundancy row at the Vita Cortex plant in Cork have failed, it was announced this afternoon.

In a statement the company has confirmed that it has now ended all engagement with the mediation process, which was organised by the Labour Relations Commission.

"The decision to end the process was not taken lightly but was inevitable due to a number of key factors," the company management said in a statement.

"Vita Cortex is not satisfied with SIPTU’s proposal to deal with demands from two thirds of the workers for whom they represent in isolation of the remaining third of the workers.

"Any agreement that may have been reached would have to include a full resolution and agreement with all workers who were made redundant.

"Once it became clear that the mediation process was not going to resolve the dispute it was decided to exit the process which was confirmed with the LRC appointed mediators last night."

The talks were overseen by three mediators including Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy, and former Labour Court members Jack Nash and John Doherty.

Company owner Jack Ronan is believed to have attended the talks for the first time in person.

Thirty-two workers at the Cork manufacturing plant have been staging a sit-in over redundancy pay since the plant's closure on December 16 last.

The protesting workers have been occupying the building since in pursuit of the same 2.9 weeks per year of service redundancy package which they say the company paid to previous employees.

The State is covering the two weeks’ statutory payment. The workers say company owner Jack Ronan must pay what they claim was the agreed balance, 0.9 weeks per year of service.

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