Concern at temporary lay-offs at ABP in Cahir due to beef protest

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Concerns have been expressed for the local economy in Cahir following the temporary lay off of over 380 staff at the ABP plant.

The company says they were forced to take the step due to unofficial protests outside the factory in the ongoing beef dispute.

ABP today confirmed that 385 workers at their flagship meat processing plant at Kilcommon near Cahir have been temporarily laid off.

A further 182 jobs are under threat this week due to the unofficial picket placed on the factory entrance by beef farmers.

ABP claim the protestors have stopped any product going into or leaving the site meaning production has ceased.

County Tipperary Chamber have expressed concerns that these lay-offs could have a major impact on the local economy should the dispute continue.

CEO David Shanahan says the Chamber is not taking sides in the row – but points out the long consequences need to be considered.

Over the weekend, an agreement was reached between farmers and beef processors.

But many farmers are continuing to protest as they’re not happy with deal, with the Agriculture Minister asking them to give it a chance.

A meeting was held last night in Cahir House Hotel, with representatives from the pickets in Ennis, Charleville, and Bandon, as well as Cahir farmers present to discuss the deal – but following a vote it was decided to remain on the picket line.

This farmer protesting outside ABP plant in Cahir today explains some of their issues.

However, Cormac Healy from Meat Industry Ireland says continuing to block factory gates helps no one.

This farmer who’s also protesting in Cahir today says it’s not that simple for farmers.

He says they’re sorry for anyone who’s been let go temporarily or otherwise – but that farmers would be happy with a temporary solution to the base price issue.

Deputy Mattie McGrath was also in Cahir this morning – where he called for meaningful talks from all parties.

He says the Minister for Agriculture must do more.