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THE UNITE trade union has pledged its support for workers at the Vita Cortex foam packaging plant in Ballyphehane, Cork, who have been engaged in a sit-in over redundancy payments since mid-December.

Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said there was a trend involving workers being left in the cold by companies and financial institutions that were carrying on generating profits.

The 32 Vita Cortex workers engaged in the sit-in have vowed to continue their actions until they receive adequate redundancy payments.

Employees want a €1.2 million redundancy package – 2.9 weeks per year of service for each worker – which they believe their employer has the ability to pay.

Owner of the Vita Cortex company in Cork, Jack Ronan, has said that his financial position does not allow him to make funds available to pay the redundancies. Workers at the plant insist, however, that Mr Ronan has extensive corporate and property interests in Ireland and the UK.

In a statement last week Vita Cortex said the sit-in was undermining the firm’s attempts to “maintain the existing levels of business and the employment needed to service it, which is heading to further potential job losses in the very near future”. The firm employs 60 people in Athlone, Cork and Belfast.

Workers at the plant in Cork insist Mr Ronan has numerous properties and corporate interests in both Ireland and the UK and that his property portfolio is worth millions, despite the market crash.

Vita Cortex has reportedly submitted documentation to the Department of Social Protection as evidence that it is not in a position to pay redundancy to the workers.

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Vita Cortex Foam Packaging Redundancies





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