Private Notice Question: - Creameries Dispute.

Tuesday, 29 June 1971

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 255 No. 1

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Mr. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael 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): Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. 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. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael Begley  Is the Minister aware that 16,000 suppliers are involved and that this is a bread and butter matter so far as these people are concerned?

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  Yes.

[52]Mr. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael Begley  Surely they should get some assurance at this stage that the milk will not go sour?

Mr. Creed: Information on Donal Creed  Zoom on Donal 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. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  That is a global statement.

Mr. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John 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?

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton  Zoom on Mark A. Clinton  Does the Minister propose to become involved in this? Will he try to bring about a settlement?

Mr. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael Begley  I appeal to the Minister to get involved in it.

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  I am aware that it is possible to impair any efforts that may be made to settle this by any unwarranted comment at this stage.


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