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Ireland 24.01.2024

Political Pressure Mounts on Kerry Agribusiness Amidst Drivers' Strike

Source: The DairyNews
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A strike by drivers outside Kerry Group headquarters in Tralee has led to increasing political pressure on Kerry Agribusiness, with politicians, including a senior government minister, urging the company to engage with the striking drivers.
Political Pressure Mounts on Kerry Agribusiness Amidst Drivers' Strike
The strike, initiated on January 17, revolves around the company's decision to impose compulsory redundancies on the drivers.

The drivers, who have between 29 and 45 years of service with Kerry Agribusiness, began their strike in response to the company's move to shift all remaining milk collection operations to independent hauliers following a review of milk collection procedures last year. The drivers claim that the company terminated their employment on December 31, 2023, without mutual agreement, despite a "transparent redundancy consultation period."

SIPTU, the union representing the drivers, revealed that neither the drivers nor the union have been contacted by Kerry Agribusiness regarding the strike. Kerry Agribusiness is part of Kerry Group plc, and there are 100 SIPTU members within the organization.

Several politicians from Kerry, including Minister for Education and Fianna Fáil TD Norma Foley, have expressed support for the striking drivers by joining them on the picket line. Kerry Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly, the party's national spokesperson on justice, plans to raise the issue in the Dáil and advocate for the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to facilitate talks between the parties.

Kerry Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae called on Kerry Agribusiness to reverse its decision and emphasized the need for the company to respect the goodwill of farming communities. He expressed concern that the treatment of the drivers could impact the company's standing within the farming community.

As political pressure mounts, stakeholders await Kerry Agribusiness's response to the situation.
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