SIPTU members in the Rapid Action Packaging (RAP) plant in Gweedore, County Donegal, have decided to escalate their campaign of industrial action with a 24-hour work stoppage which will commence at 7.00 a.m. on Tuesday, 2nd October. The industrial action results from a refusal by the company to respect a Labour Court recommendation concerning the workers’ right to be represented by their union. It follows on from a 16-hour work stoppage on Monday (24th September). SIPTU Organiser, Declan Ferry, said: “Our members were greatly encouraged by the support they received from the local community and political representatives during their work stoppage earlier this week. However, unfortunately due to the continued failure of the company to respect the Labour Court recommendation they have been left with no option but to escalate their industrial action by conducting a 24-hour work stoppage next week. “The solidarity of workers in the plant and the overwhelming support from the surrounding local communities will be crucial to bringing a speedy resolution to this dispute. There is also a growing need for the full engagement of local government and all the political parties in securing a just conclusion. It is unfortunate that management has attempted to undermine our members’ solidarity by once again promoting an internal staff forum as a substitute for the workers exercising their right to effectively organise within their union.” He added: “Such staff bodies have time and again been shown to not amount to effective forums through which workers’ interests can be expressed and positive outcomes achieved. In this case that is something which has also been recognised by the Labour Court.” SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said: “SIPTU representatives remain willing to enter into immediate discussions with management to bring about a fair resolution to this dispute. A negotiated solution has always been the preferred approach of our members. However, if management maintains its intransigent approach our members will be left with no option but to further escalate their industrial action.”