A strike over pay continues at Kerry Group’s plant in Listowel this afternoon.
The first of four planned 24 hour strikes began at 10 o’clock last night.
The 290 workers at Kerry Ingredients are seeking a 14 per cent pay increase over four years – that is, three and a half per cent per year over four years.
They say they’re entitled to this because of the introduction of a computer system which has placed greater demands on them.
However, Kerry Group says this technology was introduced in all of its sites in Europe and Asia and it was not a pay issue for workers at these plants.
The Kerry Ingredients workers, who are represented by SIPTU, have rejected a Labour Court recommendation that that they get a pay rise of two-and-a-half per cent per year, which Kerry Group accepted.
Kerry Group says the Labour Court classifed the technology at the centre of the dispute as amounting to ‘ongoing change’ in work practices and therefore did not represent a basis for the wage increase as sought by SIPTU.
The company says nearly 500 people work at Kerry Ingredients in Listowel and it remains committed to its ongoing €100 million investment in the plant.
SIPTU has not yet commented.
However, today’s action which is due to finish at 10pm is the first of four planned 24 hour strikes which are due to take place over the next 4 weeks.
Radio Kerry journalist Marian O’Flaherty has been at the picketline in Listowel.