SIPTU members employed by the medical equipment manufacturing company, STERIS, at its plant in Tullamore, County Offaly, have raised concerns with management and local politicians over a refusal to recognise their union for collectively bargaining their terms and conditions of employment.

SIPTU Organiser, Robbie Purfield, said: “Our members in STERIS in Tullamore are concerned at their employer’s continued refusal to engage in collective bargaining on their terms and conditions of employment. A large number of the workforce are members of SIPTU.

“Our members’ call for their union to be recognised for collective bargaining has been vindicated by a Labour Court recommendation which said the employer should engage with the workers’ chosen representatives, as the company does on its site in Westport, County Mayo.

“Our members have previously raised health and safety concerns with the company, which were ignored until the union contacted the Health and Safety Authority. Following this action was taken. This indicates the value of the Union to our members on other issues as well as those relating to their terms and conditions of employment. However, the company is adamant that it will continue a direct engagement model of industrial relations on the site but our members have not even been engaged with on those terms, recently.” 

He added: “STERIS has a list of company values on its website. Our members believe the company is not living up to the values it espouses due to its failure to respect their right to be represented by the union of their choice. SIPTU members from the plant are currently meeting with local elected representatives to discuss their issues and consider the next stage of their campaign to secure their right to collectively bargain with their employer.”

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