SIPTU Press Release:

Renowned human rights activist

Noam Chomsky backs

Vita Cortex workers

Date Released: 20 January 2012 cf.

As talks aimed at bringing a just resolution to the Vita Cortex dispute resume today (20th January) the 32 workers maintaining a sit-in for five weeks at the company’s plant on the Kinsale Road, Cork, received the backing of veteran US human rights campaigner Noam Chomsky.

In his email of Thursday (19th January), addressed “to the workers of Vita Cortex, Cork, Ireland”, the renowned author and activist said; “I have just learned of your struggle and occupation, and your determination to carry on in the face of suffering and repression – and the unconscionable failure of the state to act on its responsibilities to you and other working people, symptomatic of all too much that is happening around the world today.”

The email concludes; “I hope that your courageous and honourable actions will be a model that will inspire others as well to act instead of succumbing passively, and wish you the greatest success in this just and crucial campaign for basic rights.”

Noam Chomsky’s pledge of support follows similar expressions of solidarity from former President Mary Robinson and singer Christy Moore for the Vita Cortex workers campaign to secure their agreed redundancy terms.

SIPTU Organiser, Anne Egar, said; “Receiving backing for the workers’ campaign from such an internationally respected figure as Noam Chomsky is staggering. It clearly highlights the massively important issues that are at stake in this dispute concerning workers’ rights and the failure of employers to live up to their responsibilities.”

Formal talks aimed at bringing a resolution to the dispute will resume at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) at 12.30 a.m. in the Carrigaline Court Hotel, Cork.

The talks adjourned on Tuesday (16th January) following an initial meeting where SIPTU and Vita Cortex representatives remained in separate rooms.

Before entering the talks SIPTU Manufacturing Organiser, Gerry McCormack, said; “It is hoped that today’s meeting will be constructive. The ability to bring a just resolution to this dispute lies with the owner of Vita Cortex, Jack Ronan, and it must be hoped that he does all in his power to meet his responsibilities to his former employees.”