A number of meat factories have been forced to lay off staff temporarily as the Beef Plan protest enters its 12th day.

Meat Industry Ireland has confirmed that nine meat factories have stopped working and some of these plants have temporarily laid off staff.

The farmers are taking the action because of the collapse in the prices that they are securing from factories for their produce.

Some workers have been temporarily laid off from three Dawn Meats factories.

Midwest News understands that Up to 200  staff at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis were yesterday informed by the company that they are laid off from today "for the forseeable future". They are employed in beef processing. At a meeting yesterday with management staff were informed that the company had no option but to lay them off, as the beef kill at the plant has been suspended since last week.

It's understood that sheep processing is continuing at the Ballyhaunis plant.

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is appealing to members of the Beef Plan movement to accept his invitation and to enter into talks to resolve the ongoing protests outside the factories.

The chairman of the Beef Plan Movement in Sligo Gerry Pilkington is protesting at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis he told Midwest News today that the lay offs are unfortunate and regretable  but farmers are refusing to suspend their protests before going into any talks.

They are refusing to enter talks with this precondition set down by the Minister, he explained, on the grounds that if they do, their position will be weakened further.




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