Kerry Group reject claim of refusal to speak to workers in Listowel industrial action

SIPTU members who held a 24 hour strike at the Kerry Ingredients plant in Listowel yesterday, say they are open for talks, but claim the company has not responded.

The first of four 24 hour strikes and a picket line was staged at Kerry Ingredients in Listowel yesterday by 290 workers.

The workers, represented by SIPTU, are seeking a 14 per cent pay increase over four years – that is, three and a half per cent per year over this period.

The workers have rejected a Labour Court recommendation of a pay rise of two-and-a-half per cent per year, which Kerry Ingredients’ owner, Kerry Group accepted.

The dispute centres on the introduction of a computer system which workers believe places greater demands on them and therefore, they should receive a pay increase in keeping with these additional responsibilities.

SIPTU representative John Cooney says the union is available for talks on their dispute but the company has not responded.

Kerry Group has rejected the claim that it’s refused to speak to workers.

In a statement to Radio Kerry News, Kerry Group said it issued the letter to workers two weeks ago and that it is available to engage in talks at any time with SIPTU.