Tuesday, 29 June 1971
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Begley: asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he is aware of the dispute between the managers of branch creameries and the Dairy Disposal Board; and that the managers propose to strike from Thursday next with consequent hardship to milk suppliers; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries (Mr. J. Gibbons): I have been informed by the Dairy Disposal Company Limited of this dispute and threatened strike in the case of a group of assistant managers and branch managers employed at some of the Company's creameries. This group, through their union, have, I understand, rejected a substantial salary increase recommended by the Labour Court. The increase which has been offered has already been accepted through the Irish Creamery Managers' Association by all assistant and branch managers at co-operative creameries and at the remainder of the Dairy Disposal Company's creameries.
I would very much regret if the proposed strike took place in the circumstances, with the serious hardship which it would inevitably involve for milk suppliers in the areas concerned. Should however the strike eventuate I will of course consider whatever action it may be open to me to take in the situation that will obtain.
Mr. Creed: Surely the Minister should be aware that the simple answer is to hand the DDB creameries over to the farming community. Is he aware that neglect and mishandling of the dairying industry by the Government are responsible for all this unrest?
Mr. Bruton: Is the Minister aware that this dispute has been going on for approximately two years? Would he not consider that after all that time some solution should have been arrived at, and that the failure to find such a solution reflects some discredit on the management of the Dairy Disposal Board?
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