SIPTU members have urged the management of the AbbVie Plant in Carrigtwohill, county Cork, to engage in talks in order to avoid an escalation of the industrial dispute at the company concerning their right to union representation. Workers are currently engaged in a 33-hour work stoppage which commenced yesterday (Thursday, 7th December), at 7.00 p.m. This is the fourth in a series of work stoppages in the dispute which results from the refusal of management to implement a Labour Court recommendation concerning the workers’ right to be represented by their union in relation to negotiations relating to all their terms and conditions of employment. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Alan O’Leary, said: “The AbbVie workers have been extremely patient with their employer who has for many years ignored their concerns and refused to accept their right to union representation in all negotiations. Senior AbbVie management has recently openly apologised to our members for ignoring their concerns and has accepted that they have ‘genuine issues’. However, the company continues to ignore the Labour Court recommendation.” He added: “Should the company continue to ignore our members’ concerns and refuse to implement the Labour Court recommendation an escalation of the campaign of industrial action, up to and including all-out strike action, may be inevitable. Such a situation is completely avoidable. All that is required is for the company to act in line with the Labour Court recommendation and engage in talks without prejudice.” SIPTU Organiser, Paul de Puis, said: “Our members are strong and united in their commitment to maintain their industrial action until this dispute is justly resolved. They have been heartened by the tremendous support from their fellow workers in the IDA industrial estate and the local community. “Many of our members have young children and they do not want to be on the picket line just before Christmas. The company has brought it to this point and we urge the management to bring this dispute to an end by affording these workers the right to independent and professional union representation.”