4 July 2022
By Elaine Murphy
SIPTU members in Kostal vote for industrial action to protect terms of employment
SIPTU members in Kostal Ireland GmbH have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action, up to and including strike action, at the company’s plants in Abbeyfeale, County Limerick and Baltydaniel East which is north of the town of Mallow, County Cork, as part of a dispute to protect their agreed terms and conditions of employment.
SIPTU Organiser, Joe Kelly, said: “A ballot of our members employed in the Abbeyfeale and Mallow plants returned a result of 98% in favour of industrial action and 94% in favour of strike action. This ballot was taken as part of a dispute resulting from attempts to unilaterally change our members’ terms and conditions of employment.
“Agreements were reached a number of years ago under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission conciliation service. These provided for SIPTU members in non-production roles to receive bonuses related to performance appraisals as well as bonuses for our members who are at the top of their pay scale and no longer require appraisals. Kostal management has made a unilateral decision to not pay these bonuses which provide our members with a once off payment of up to 3% of basic pay.”
He added: “This cut to hard-fought for terms and conditions has deeply angered our members as evidenced in the ballot results. Prior to the ballot, management was given the opportunity to honour the existing agreements and enter meaningful negotiations. The refusal to do this left our members with no choice but to take this course of action. There is an agreed procedure to address any issues but management has ignored this by making this cut.”
SIPTU Shop Steward, Ciara McMahon Flavin, said: “None of our members want to be in this position. However, when our terms and conditions are being stripped it leaves us with no option. It is disappointing we have had to take this course of action but we are united in our resolve to protect our agreed terms and conditions of employment.”
SIPTU shop steward, Liam O’Sullivan, said: “Our members are incensed by the actions of management and regretfully have been forced to take industrial action to resolve this dispute.
Abbeyfeale SIPTU Committee chairperson, Paudie Power, said: “We have been forced to take this step to protect our rights as employees.”
SIPTU committees from both plants will meet this week to discuss the details and timeline of the proposed industrial action.