SIPTU has called on the Government to provide additional income supports for the thousands of workers now laid-off in factories due to the ongoing beef crisis. Up to 3000 SIPTU members, many in this region, are directly affected by the ongoing crisis at the beef plants.
The dispute is now starting to hit consumers, as it’s impacting on supermarket shelves. Aldi has become the first retailer to confirm that it's struggling to stock Irish beef.
SIPTU organiser Terry Bryan told Midwest News this morning that currently thousands of workers, members of the union, have been laid off and this is causing massive hardship for their families across the region.
“These are families with bills to pay, children to feed and rent now due. Not all the workers who have been laid off will have automatic entitlement to Social Welfare payments because of the Work Permit System.
While three thousand workers are on temporary lay-off at present, there are ten thousand workers employed in the sector so the potential for this crisis to get a lot worse is very real. This not only affects the workers and their families directly, but also the local communities, small businesses and retailers.”
SIPTU is calling on the Government to develop a fund that will provide income support to these workers and we insist that the beef processors, as a group, should contribute to this fund to off-set the real hardship their employees are now facing”.
The ongoing beef dispute is starting to have an impact on supermarket shelves. Aldi has become the first retailer to confirm that it's struggling to stock Irish beef. Aldi says there is now industry-wide availability issues for Irish beef.
In order to ensure it has a full range of beef and pork products for customers, some of it's Irish suppliers have had to have their beef and pork processed at plants in the UK.
This means that a tray of mince in your local store,may have been slaughtered in Ireland, sent to the UK to be processed and packaged and then sent back to Ireland to be sold.
Irish meat plants have been forced to wind down production due to ongoing protests and blockades at factories.
Aldi says it's Irish meat products are still Bord Bia approved and where the meat has been processed will be clearly labelled on its packaging.