Belfast Telegraph

20-week Vita Cortex protest ends

A 20-week protest by former workers at Vita Cortex has come to an end after union representatives accepted terms for outstanding redundancy pay.

Siptu, the company, its shareholders and worker representatives negotiated an undisclosed deal, bringing an end to the dispute that has seen 32 former employees stage a sit-in at the Cork plant.

The company went bust before Christmas and bosses refused to hand over statutory redundancy pay.

"The workers are very pleased that after four months campaigning to secure equitable and fair redundancy payments, which take account of their long years of service at Vita Cortex, they can now return to their normal lives satisfied they achieved their objective," said Siptu's Gerry McCormack.

The manufacturing division organiser said the deal reflected "an equitable conclusion" to the four-month protest.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who paid tribute to the workers for their long-term commitment to the former foam manufacturing plant, said he was relieved a deal had been struck.

"The workers have displayed enormous dignity and fortitude throughout their almost 20-week campaign," said Mr Kenny.

"I said in the Dail this week that they deserved respect for their long years of committed and diligent service and I hope today's resolution brings closure to what has been a traumatic period for them."

Siptu organiser Anne Edgar said the redundancy payment proposals for each worker were confidential.

She too commended them, saying it was an honour to represent them.

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