Meat Industry Ireland statement following SIPTU Meeting

September 01, 2020

Underpinning existing Covid-19 mitigation measures in place, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has proposed a detailed Code of Practice to protect workers in the industry. The Code was discussed with representatives of SIPTU this afternoon, as part of a follow up to a meeting in early August.

The Code of Practice reflects MII’s efforts to respond constructively to a draft Charter of Workplace Safety presented by SIPTU previously. MII’s proposal formalises the existing suite of measures in place in members’ processing facilities that have played an important role in delivering the sharp reduction that there has been in the number of clusters in meat plants from twenty-two in May to four currently.

Commenting on the proposal, MII Senior Director Cormac Healy said: “MII and SIPTU are in agreement on the importance of ensuring measures are in place to protect workers from Covid-19 and continuity of business which also protects workers’ livelihoods. The national screening programme has now commenced and it is essential that turnaround of test results are delivered within 24 hours. We discussed a ‘Code of Practice’ for the primary meat processing sector in the context of addressing the ongoing challenge of this global pandemic. We will progress this Code of Practice further with an aim to finalising it at our next meeting”.  

The differences between the MII and SIPTU proposals relate to suggested measures on pay and conditions put forward by SIPTU. Pay and conditions are not matters within MII’s mandate and rest with individual employers, to be agreed in line with their normal policies and procedures.