‘We are writing on foot of the decision not to pay our members…’ – SIPTU writes to Rosderra Meats

Trade union SIPTU said it has written to Rosderra Irish Meats following a staff walk-out at one of its factories last week.

On Monday (August 10), a number of workers left the processing factory in Clara, Co. Offaly, due to concerns over Covid-19 after staff had been brought from another of the company’s sites in Edenderry.

Also Read: Rosderra Meats workers were ‘within rights to take the stand they did’ – Cowen

SIPTU industrial organiser Jason Palmer told AgriLand that the union has raised concerns with Rosderra Irish Meats over the company “not paying those workers who left” as part of that strike.

The letter written by SIPTU includes the following:

“We [SIPTU] are writing to you on foot of the company decision not to pay our members following the situation that arose in the Clara site last Monday, August 10.

“We believe that this decision is unduly harsh and unfair. The workers involved acted out of concern for their health and, indeed, the health of their families and whether or not the company feels those concerns were merited, you can be assured that the concerns were sincerely held.”

Palmer said he has “not yet heard from Rosderra”, but is “hopeful for contact by the end of the week”.

‘Workers had all followed high-level protection protocols’

Following the walk-out, staff returned to work the following day. A spokesperson for Rosderra Irish Meats previously said in a statement:

“A very small number of workers from our Edenderry plant did attend the Clara site.

These workers had all followed the very same high level of protection protocols as we do across the group.

“We have zero clusters in our Edenderry site and across the group we continue to develop our vigorous Covid-19 protection procedures in line with HSE [Health Service Executive] and HSA [Health and Safety Authority] recommendations.

“All plants across the group undergo a deep clean and sterilisation process each evening,” the statement concluded.

Kildare Chilling worker waiting ‘nearly 2 weeks’ for test result

In other meat factory news, Palmer has also told AgriLand that a Kildare Chilling factory worker is waiting “nearly two weeks” for a Covid-19 test result to come back.

Palmer said he has been speaking to a worker who will be waiting two weeks as of tomorrow, Thursday (August 20), for their test result to come back.

Describing the testing situation as “erratic”, Palmer said:

“I am aware of workers who have gotten second test results back before others have gotten their first back.

He [worker] is on the outside of his quarantine now and he still doesn’t even know whether his test is positive or negative for Covid-19.

“He told me he has rung the helpline twice over the course of a few days to find out when he would get his result and he was told that he would get it in 24 hours, which he didn’t.”

Also Read: Kildare Chilling worker waiting ‘nearly 2 weeks’ for Covid-19 test result – SIPTU

Palmer said he has also asked Kildare Chilling “to help with the financial burden on workers who have tested positive”.