The SIPTU Manufacturing Division has welcomed a binding Labour Court recommendation issued on Friday (3rd June) which provides for increases in pay and conditions at the Freshways Food Company in Ballymun, Dublin. SIPTU Organiser, Colm Casserly, said: “The recommendation was issued under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 which provides for binding increases in pay and conditions in circumstances where it is not the practice of an employer to engage in collective bargaining. “This legislation, which provides workers with an important means of ensuring their collective interests are protected, was introduced by the previous government. This case is the first to be processed by the Labour Court under this legislation and it has provided a substantial increase in pay and conditions for a group of low paid workers.” He added: “Freshways Food Company manufactures sandwiches and other food produce. The workers involved are general operatives and are mostly migrant workers that are paid slightly above the minimum wage at present." SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Gerry McCormack, said: “The recommendation will provide pay increases in the order of €2.10 per hour in 3 phases over 18 months. It will also result in the introduction of a sick pay scheme and an additional day of annual leave.” He added: “The recommendation is significant and now sets the benchmark for other claims by SIPTU members in food processing and other sectors. It would have been preferable if the employer entered into a local bargaining process with our members with an agreement reached on a voluntary basis. This did not happen due to the employer refusing to engage during the voluntary stage of the process.” The SIPTU Manufacturing Division has two further claims under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 currently being processed by the Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court.