SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “In June, management at the plant gave eight days’ notice that it intended to instigate a temporary shutdown of the plant. This sudden announcement provided unions with very little time to engage in a consultation process with management to ensure the minimum impact of a shutdown on members’ terms and conditions. Workers expressed serious concerns in relation to the allocation of work, loss of pay, loss of shift allowance, pension payments and access to the sick pay scheme.

“In the wake of this announcement the workers voted for strike action as the move by management breached an existing collective agreement and previous practices in relation to a plant shutdown.

“Union members deferred a strike scheduled to commence on the 15th July to allow for a meeting between representatives and management under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission. Arising from this meeting a ‘roadmap agreement’ was achieved which provided for engagement on all issues in dispute within a two-week period of intensive talks commencing on July 20th.” 

He added: “It soon became apparent to union representatives that management was not serious about entering into meaningful talks and it appeared it simply wanted to refer all matters into the Labour Court. That strike action will commence this Monday morning, just after midnight, is the result of the unilateral action taken by management and its lack of meaningful engagement with the workers’ representatives on the issues in dispute.”