Cork sweet workers sacked for changing Tic-Tac recipe
Employment Appeals Tribunal has found two were “unfairly dismissed” by firm
The tribunal has ordered Ferrero to pay €19,000 to Declan Cotter and €10,000 to Lisa Ryan O’Connor.
Two workers have been sacked by Italian confectionary corporation Ferrero for changing the recipe on a batch of Tic-Tac sweets at its Cork plant.
Declan Cotter and Lisa Ryan O’Connor were sacked for “gross misconduct”, but the Employment Appeals Tribunal has found that the two were “unfairly dismissed” by the firm, saying it did not feel the punishment fitted the “crime”.
The tribunal has ordered Ferrero to pay €19,000 to Mr Cotter and €10,000 to Ms Ryan O’Connor.
SIPTU organiser John Cooney yesterday said the action in sacking the two was “petty”.
“It was an absolutely ridiculous case and the company has lost a lot of goodwill from the membership who work for Ferrero over how they treated these two workers.The tribunal may have found in the workers’ favour, but they lost their jobs over this . . . The award in no way compensates for the loss of their jobs.”
Ferrero, owned by one of by Italy’s richest men, Michele Ferrero, last year recorded revenues of €8.1 billion globally. The company claimed that, arising from an incident at the Cork plant on June 16th, 2010, the two workers changed a sweet recipe, and this had represented a breach of procedure.
Ferrero told the tribunal “trust was vital in food production” and there was no excuse for an experienced employee not being familiar with the firm’s procedures and the potential dismissal that a breach could incur. A spokeswoman for Ferrero Ireland declined to comment on the case.