SIPTU members at BCD Travel in Tralee, county Kerry, have deferred strike action following the company’s decision to attend the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) in an effort to resolve outstanding issues arising from a dispute over the non-payment of redundancy entitlements. The company agreed to attend the LRC following a request by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, earlier this week. BCD Travel, which manages corporate travel arrangements for the Kerry Group, had threatened workers with immediate dismissal if they exercised their right to take industrial action. The threat of strike action followed the refusal by company management to negotiate redundancy terms for seven workers who are to lose their jobs as part of a company restructuring plan. In response, BCD Travel threatened them with immediate dismissal and non-payment of redundancy entitlements. On Wednesday (13th March), a spokesperson for Richard Bruton said the minister regretted that the company had decided against attending a Labour Relations Commission (LRC) hearing, contrary to good industrial relations practice. He said the Minister had urged the parties involved in this dispute “to work together to break the current impasse by utilising the established machinery for dispute resolution.” Responding to the minister’s intervention and the company’s decision to attend talks, SIPTU Sector Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin, said: “We welcome the decision by the company to attend the LRC and we have good reason to thank the Minister for his timely intervention. We have been trying to negotiate terms with the company, which includes the retention of two positions, and we hope that we can now achieve a positive and early resolution of this dispute. At the request of the LRC we have agreed to defer our strike action and the placing of pickets pending the outcome of these discussions.”