Drivers at Kerry Agribusiness picket over compulsory redundancies

Drivers at heart of dispute have an average of 30 years’ service, with one having worked for the company for 45 years

Members of union Siptu picketed at the headquarters of Kerry Agribusiness in Tralee, Co Kerry on Wednesday morning in a dispute relating to the compulsory redundancy of a number of drivers with long service at the company.

The workers involved claim they have been penalised after making complaints externally over work practices at the company after several years of seeking resolution to issues in relation to the working time directive and legislation.

They also say they have been paid only statutory redundancy with an offer of enhanced payments made conditional on them waiving any further claims against Kerry Agribusiness, a division of Kerry Group, which is led by Edmond Scanlon.

The drivers at the heart of the dispute have an average of 30 years’ service, with one having worked for the company for 45 years.


They have criticised what they described as “a deliberate attempt to disregard the rights of the drivers to seek redress for breaches of their employment rights under Ireland’s labour processes and laws by a prominent multinational company which employs thousands of people”.

Siptu’s driver members at the company voted in favour of strike action “after pursuing every other avenue open to them in their efforts to avoid compulsory redundancies”, according to the union’s organiser, Denis Gormalley.

“These five workers sought a reasonable engagement with the company to avoid any compulsory redundancies and, as it has refused to enter discussions, will continue on a campaign of strike action.”

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In a statement, Kerry Agribusiness said that “following a comprehensive review of its milk collection procedures in 2023, Kerry Agribusiness made the decision to transition all remaining milk collection operations to its existing independent hauliers”.

“Subsequently, Kerry Agribusiness entered a transparent redundancy consultation period and began detailed discussions with the six remaining drivers in November 2023. The employment of these drivers terminated on Dec 31st, 2023, without mutual agreement between the parties involved.”

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Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times