Workers go home after 139 days
The 139 day fight for justice for the Vita Cortex 32 came to an end last night with a meeting at the Metropole Hotel at which the workers voted on a deal proposed by former employer Jack Ronan.
However, workers will not return home for two weeks, or until the funds are transferred.
Tim Burke from Grange had been working at Vita Cortex for 43 years.
“It’s been a long struggle, I didn’t think it would go past the 16 December but actually it did," said Tim.
"I’m not happy with the situation that it did go on but I’m glad now that it has come to an end and got the final result.”
When asked what he intended to do next, Tim replied, “I’m going to retire, relax and put my feet up and enjoy life – I’ve had this planned for a long long time.
“I thought we would get the money when we were retiring in December. On the Tuesday beforehand we were told we weren’t getting it I was totally shocked with it. I didn’t think we would last this long, I thought maybe Christmas at the latest. We missed the New Year, Patrick's Day, Easter – hopefully we can get out of it, get on and enjoy our lives.”
SIPTU organiser Anne Egar also attended the meeting.
“The details of the agreement are confidential and that’s part of the terms of the agreement. The terms remain, and will always remain, confidential," she said.
“The workers are very pleased that after four months campaigning to secure their equitable payments that would take account of their service, that has been achieved.”
“There have been a number of contact ongoing all over the weekend and earlier this week to set up these direct talks and Mr Ronan was there himself along with the Managing Director.”
“I’m very pleased that we achieved what we achieved for this group. They are an amazing group and have stuck together in dreadful conditions. I’m very pleased for them," she added.
Details of the deal reached between the protesting workers and the company’s owners will not be disclosed.
Previous talks in March and April involving the Commission had broken down without resolution.
The workers, with 847 years service to the company between them, were made redundant nine days before Christmas and have occupied the factory ever since in protest at their treatment by their former employer Jack Ronan.
They were seeking to be paid 0.9 weeks' pay per year of service which had been given to other employees who left in 2009 and 2010. The combined total owed to the workers was approximately €370,000.
Their campaign received support from celebrities and politicians the world over, and from local people in Cork who provided them with food and drinks.
Where They Will Stay