Agreement reached in pay dispute between Kerry Group and 290 Listowel workers

It has been confirmed that an agreement has been reached over a pay dispute between Kerry Group and 290 workers at its Listowel plant.

The dispute was settled on Friday, November 3, after workers and management came to an agreement – following a series of 24-hour strikes since the end of September.

On September 26, approximately 290 workers took part in the first 24-hour work stoppage at the dairy processing plant.

The workers – who were represented by SIPTU – were originally demanding a total pay increase of 14% over the next four years, or 3.5% per annum.

After the case was looked into by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Labour Court, it was recommended that workers receive an annual 2.5% pay hike over the next four years. This would equate to a jump in pay of 10%.

Kerry Group accepted this recommendation, but it was rejected by the workers.

Following discussions between management and workers, it is understood that an agreement has been reached in relation to: pay up until mid-2020; the implementation of SAP IT technology; as well as operational procedures on-site.

The 290 workers involved in the dispute took part in four individual 24-hour work stoppages (including September 26) throughout the course of the negotiations, according to SIPTU organiser John Cooney.

Speaking to AgriLand, he outlined that a significant amount of effort has been put into sitting down and taking part in the negotiations in an effort to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Thankfully, an agreement has been reached and it has received members’ approval, he added.