Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has today, Tuesday, September 10, outlined that 3,000 employees of Irish beef processing facilities have been temporarily laid off due to “the continuing illegal blockades of factories and intimidation of staff and suppliers by protesters”.

Continuing, the statement outlined: “Decisions to cease processing operations have not been taken lightly but in the face of the unwillingness of protesters to stop their illegal blockades, companies were forced to act.”

According to MII: “Some 80% of overall processing capacity has now closed, and further closures and layoffs are likely in coming days.

It is not just the direct employees that will be affected by the ongoing crisis. Hundreds of indirect jobs will be impacted as ancillary businesses, including hauliers that will be heavily impacted by these closures.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has tried to get all parties around the table to reach a settlement.

According to the statement from MII: “Beef processors have always been open to engage in that process, but not whilst their plants are being illegally blockaded.”

Indefinite cessation

Earlier today, it was outlined that meat processors are facing an “indefinite cessation of cattle slaughtering” throughout the country due to the ongoing illegal blockades across most beef processing businesses, according to MII.

In a statement on the matter, the Ibec meat processors representative group noted that “the vast majority of slaughtering has already been stopped and additional ‘wildcat’ disruptions are putting the balance of facilities under threat of closure”.

The statement said: “The forced closure of affected sites is resulting in the temporary lay-off of thousands of employees.”