Management of The Donkey Sanctuary has refused to attend a hearing of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) to discuss its proposals to make 16 welfare staff at the charity redundant in June. The UK charity, whose Irish operation is headquartered in Liscarroll, Mallow, Co. Cork, has written to the Labour Relations Commission to inform it that it is unwilling to engage in a conciliation process concerning the threatened job losses.SIPTU Community Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins, said: “The union has tried unsuccessfully to engage the company in discussions as to the reasoning behind the decision to make the 16 welfare staff redundant. We believe that the company is in no financial difficulty and is simply attempting to replace qualified animal welfare staff with voluntary workers. This organisation is in receipt of substantial funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and it is unacceptable that it is then unwilling to utilise the industrial relations mechanisms of the State."Donkey Sanctuary Regional Welfare Officer and SIPTU activist, Clem Ryan, said: “The company has made the decision to implement these job losses without any regard to its loyal staff or the animals they are committed to caring for. The workers that face losing their jobs are responsible for rescuing and caring for donkeys across the country.“The staff who face the prospect of redundancy are highly motivated professionals whose focus is on what is best for the animals in their care and others which must be rescued from often extremely distressful situations. That they are being treated in this manner by management has shocked and deeply upset them.”