SIPTU representatives have called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, the Beef Plan Movement and Meat Industry Ireland to engage in meaningful negotiations aimed at finding a speedy resolution to a dispute which is threatening jobs in processing plants across the country. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Mick Browne, said: “For nearly two weeks there have been protests at beef processing plants across the country by farmers involved in the Beef Plan Movement. As a result of these protests the jobs of our members working in the processing plants are now being placed at risk. All sides to the dispute must come together for meaningful talks that are aimed at solving this crisis.” SIPTU Organiser, Jason Palmer, said: “Our members support the right of others to peacefully protest. However, the issues at the core of this dispute, such as a decline in profits for farmers and concerns over increased US imports into the European market, are not due to any action by workers in beef processing plants but they are the people whose livelihoods are increasingly threatened.” SIPTU Organiser, Terry Bryan, said: “Due to this dispute some of our members have been placed on temporary layoff and this situation is not acceptable. Workers in beef processing plants are not paid at a level which places them in a position to endure significant losses in wages. Many are facing real hardship as a result of this ongoing dispute. We are currently contacting all employers in the sector asking them to pay our members while they are laid off during this dispute. “This is a growing crisis for an industry which is already facing major challenges in the form of Brexit and foreign competition. All sides in this dispute must move to ensure jobs are not lost due to a situation which should be resolved through negotiation.”