Management at Dawn Meats Grannagh, on the Waterford/Kilkenny border, have issued a formal lay-off notice to a large number of its staff, blaming the “current situation” for leaving it with “no reasonable alternative”.

In a letter given to employees yesterday evening, Wednesday, August 7, seen by AgriLand, management at Dawn Meats Grannagh said:

“We wish to advise that due to the current actions of some farmers at the entrance to our site location which is beyond our control, the company is issuing you with formal notice of lay-off and/or reduced working hours with immediate effect.

You will not be required to attend for work and will not be paid for this period of lay-off.

“We regret having to take this action but, unfortunately, we are unable to provide work to maintain you in full-time employment whilst the current situation continues.

“From the outset, it was our understanding that this protest would be carried out in a peaceful manner and normal operations would continue.

“However, this has not been the case as the protesters are not allowing livestock, vets and suppliers into our site.”

The letter stressed that affected workers remain employees of Dawn Meats and efforts will be made to alternative work as soon as possible, but added that such work may not be on a full-time basis. Workers may be entitled to social welfare benefits during the lay-off, it noted.

The management said it is “monitoring the situation closely” and will update workers as soon as further information can be shared.