SIPTU has called on the management of the Stryker Plant in Carrigtwohill, County Cork, to respect the recommendations of Ireland’s National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and engage with Union representatives in collective bargaining. 

 SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Private Sector, Greg Ennis, said: “We welcome the recent publication of recommendations by Ireland’s NCP for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises concerning a ‘specific instance complaint’ made against Stryker by SIPTU concerning its facility in Carrigtwohill.

“The recently issued NCP recommendations state that in noting International Labour Organisation standards with regard to Chapter V of the OECD Guidelines that Stryker ‘should be prepared to engage in collective bargaining with the workers chosen representatives’. 

“The recommendations go on to state that, ‘The NCP notes that the company honours pre-existing collective bargaining arrangements at two other facilities. It recommends that the company consider how these arrangements can be replicated at its other facilities, so its entire Irish workforce has the same representational arrangements in place’.

SIPTU Manufacturing Divisional Organiser, Neill McGowan, said: “These recommendations follow a lengthy and most thorough investigation of the SIPTU complaint over the last two years. Prior to this the Union also secured favourable Labour Court Recommendations on the issue of recognition for collective bargaining in relation to Stryker.”

He added: “The NCP’s recommendations are most pertinent, as were the statements made by US Special Representative for International Labour Affairs, Kelly M. Fay Rodríguez, when she recently visited Ireland to meet with representatives of trade unions and American multinational employers. 

“Her view is companies benefit from an organised workforce and that good industrial relations contribute not only to ‘their bottom line but also to the resilience of their business’. She has also stated that she would ‘certainly encourage companies, at a minimum, to abide by the law’. Adding, beyond that she believes they should ‘look for opportunities to embrace an organised workforce and see the value there’.”

Picture: SIPTU Manufacturing Divisional Organiser, Neil McGowan