“At a meeting several weeks ago in the Dáil,” deputy Adams said, “it was agreed by all of the Oireachtas representatives from Louth, bar Peter Fitzpatrick and Fergus O’Dowd, that we would send a joint letter to the senior management of Diageo seeking a meeting to discuss the treatment of the Dundalk workers.
“A letter which I received from Paul Armstrong, the Diageo Supply Chain Director, states it would be inappropriate to hold a meeting at this current time as there is a statutory industrial relations process underway.
“The dispute between Diageo and workers from the Dundalk brewery has been ongoing since the company announced the closure of the plant nine months ago.
“The workers have repeatedly expressed their deep frustration that nearly nine months after the decision to close the Dundalk plant Diageo have thwarted meaningful negotiations.
“If Diageo is serious about progressing the current discussions then they need to involve senior management in those negotiations and listen to and be prepared to act on the concerns of the workers.
“It will not reach agreement with the workers if it continues to seek to minimise its obligations to a Dundalk workforce that has been loyal to the company and ensured that the Dundalk brewery has remained consistently profitable and efficient.
“Diageo is a huge global company and is enormously profitable. It recently exploited the sense of Irishness and Guinness around Arthur’s Day. It needs to bring that positive sense of Irishness to its dealings with its Irish workers and communities and especially the Dundalk workers, and agree a resolution that treats the Dundalk workforce with dignity.
“I believe that Oireachtas members need to make clear our disappointment and dissatisfaction to Diageo at its refusal to meet and that we should continue to press for a meeting between Diageo management and Oireachtas representatives,” deputy Adams said.
The Harp Lager brewery closure brings to an end the history of brewing in Dundalk. One that goes back 150 years.