Minister cannot be a passenger in beef talks as workers face layoffs – Cullinane
Reacting to news that 300 workers at Dawn Meats in Waterford have been temporarily laid off, Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane said workers at these plants cannot be used as pawns simply because meat processors will not pay farmers a fair price for their cattle.
Speaking today, Cullinane said: “For the first time in this dispute we saw some positive developments this week between farmers and meat processors as talks aimed at finding a resolution were announced. The cancelling of these talks by meat processors was a retrograde step, as is the temporary laying off of workers."
“It is vital that those talks commence and address the issue of transparency in price setting, and end to the arbitrary rules that are used to suppress prices and the introduction of a new fair pricing system. The temporary laying off of staff should be reversed. "
“It is also important that Minister Creed does not see himself as a neutral observer to this process."
"Beef farmers need help from the government and Minister Creed must bring forward a set of supportive proposals to help secure the future viability of this sector."
“That should include the re-introduction of the Groceries Order to ban the below-cost selling of food products and the adoption of leglisation ensuring transparency in the sector. All sides need to commit to resolving this dispute and laying off staff is not conducive to finding a solution," Deputy Cullinane concluded.
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