Former workers of Vita Cortex have voted to accept a proposal for outstanding redundancy payments from the owners of the company.

It paves the way for an end to the sit-in at the company's plant in Cork which has been ongoing for 139 days since 16 December.

It is understood that the proposal to end the dispute was agreed today in the first face-to-face negotiations between the company's owner, Jack Ronan, and SIPTU, which represents most of the workers.

The workers were given just over an hour's notice to attend a meeting at a city centre hotel.

They voted unanimously to accept a proposal to end the dispute.

The settlement follows several failed attempts to broker an agreement between the 32 workers and the company.

The details of the settlement have not been revealed, but the resolution has been welcomed by both sides.

The sit-in is expected to last another fortnight when money promised in the settlement is paid.

In a statement, SIPTU’s Gerry McCormack said: "The workers are satisfied that these proposals, which were agreed following direct talks between SIPTU representatives and the owners of Vita Cortex earlier today in Cork, provide the basis for the full and final settlement of this dispute."

"The workers are very pleased that after four months campaigning to secure equitable and fair redundancy payments, which takes account of their long years of service at Vita Cortex, they can now return to their normal lives satisfied they achieved their objective."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has paid tribute to the workers: "I am relieved that a resolution has been found and a conclusion has been brought to a long period of uncertainty and anxiety for the Vita Cortex workers and their families.

“The workers have displayed enormous dignity and fortitude throughout their almost 20-week campaign.

“I said in the Dáil this week that they deserved respect for their long years of committed and diligent service and I hope today's resolution brings closure to what has been a traumatic period for them.

“I was deeply impressed by their determination and sincerity when I met them eight weeks ago and I wish them all the best in the future now that their long campaign has come to an end."