Workers at Swords based pharmaceutical manufacturing company, SK Biotek, along with the company have accepted an invitation to attend a conciliation meeting at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Last week nearly 150 workers at the plant who were members of the SIPTU and Connect unions were temporarily laid-off after an escalation in a dispute with management over proposed work practice changes.

Up to 370 people are employed at the plant, but only those who work in the core manufacturing and maintenance areas were laid-off.

The company said it was forced to shut down manufacturing after unions began a programme of escalating industrial action on October 29th which directly impacted operations.

"Due to the complexity of our manufacturing processes and requirement to ensure the safety of all people on site as well as the safety and stability of processes, this industrial action ultimately caused the Company to effectively close down its core manufacturing operations on the 5th November," it said in a statement.

It said that eight days later it had to temporarily lay off the workers as a direct consequence.

Since then the staff who have been laid off have been holding a picket outside the gates of the plant.

But this evening SIPTU confirmed both sides would attend a conciliation meeting. It is understood that Connect representatives will also take part.

"Our members in SK biotech have agreed to attend a conciliation meeting at the WRC scheduled for Tuesday, 3rd December. The company has also agreed to attend this meeting," said SIPTU Organiser, Jim Fuery.

It is understood that pickets have been lifted and all staff will resume work tomorrow morning.