SIPTU members in Meadow Meats, Rathdowney, County Laois, commenced industrial action today (Monday, 30th November) in response to the company’s failure to honour a Labour Court recommendation that workers in the meat processing plant receive a pay increase. SIPTU Organiser, Mick Browne, said: “On 7th September the Labour Court issued a recommendation in relation to a dispute at the Meadow Meats plant concerning a pay claim by SIPTU members. According to the terms of the recommendation, our members, who are currently being paid the minimum wage of €8.65 per hour, were to be awarded an hourly rate of €9.15 per hour retrospective to 1st January 2015. This is to be increased to €9.65 per hour from 1st January 2016 and to €10.00 per hour from 1st January 2017. “The terms of the recommendation were accepted by our members in a secret ballot. However, the management of the company has not engaged in any discussions with our members since the recommendation was issued. In response to this failure to honour the Labour Court recommendation our members have been forced to undertake industrial action, initially, in the form of a work to rule campaign.” He added: “Our members have accepted the Labour Court recommendation and support its recognition that the application of the minimum wage to workers in the red meat industry is no longer acceptable.  It is telling that at no point during the discussions at the Labour Court did the company argue that it could not afford to increase wages to a liveable standard for our members.” Meadow Meats is part of the Dawn Meats Group.