The Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) served notice of industrial action against drugmaker AbbVie earlier this month, and the first of five planned work stoppages began yesterday.
Paul Depuis, from the Industrial Official Manufacturing Division of SIPTU told this publication workers had no choice but to picket the manufacturing facility as AbbVie has refused to engage with the union.
“We’re not in the business of engaging in pickets but this is all about worker engagement and AbbVie has refused for the last four years or so to attend meetings or engage with us.”
He added AbbVie is also ignoring an Irish Labour Court recommendation made earlier this year to engage with and recognise the union.
Regarding yesterday’s 36-hour work stoppage, Depuis told us “there was no production at the site from what we can gather.”
However, AbbVie disputed this with Fiona Olivier, public affairs director, AbbVie Western Europe & Canada, saying operations continued yesterday with no supply disruption.
“[We] can advise that it is business as usual at our plant with absolutely no supply disruption,” she told in-Pharmatechnologist. She added: “There have been some inaccurate reports featured in local media today [Tuesday] on this industrial action, some of which have also suggested that operations at our Cork site have been affected.”
Olivier did not give more details and would not comment on the picket or the Labour Court recommendation.
The site in Carrigtwohill, on the outskirts of Cork, is a modern bulk tablet finish facility which manufactures solid and capsule formulations.
SIPTU has two further 36-hour strikes planned on November 22 and 29. A 33-hour work stoppage is planned on December 7, and a 48-hour strike is planned on December 11.