Welfare staff working for The Donkey Sanctuary are undertaking a two-hour strike today (Friday, 30th May) before meeting to discuss an escalation of their industrial action at the registered charity based in Liscarroll, Mallow, county Cork. The dispute at the charity results from a management attempt to make 16 staff redundant without negotiation.SIPTU 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. Due to the failure of management to meet with union representatives they have been left with no option but to discuss an escalation of their industrial action.”He added: “The Donkey Sanctuary is in receipt of substantial funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. We believe this is a misuse of public funding as the organisation is unwilling to utilise the industrial relations mechanisms of the State. “Unfortunately, the Department has also stated that it is unwilling to intervene in the dispute. A Department official informed SIPTU that its concern was only with the welfare of the donkeys affected by this dispute and not the workers.”SIPTU members began a series of two-hour strike actions every second day at The Donkey Sanctuary on Monday (19th May).