Around 400 staff at Cavan based distribution transformer supplier, Kyte Powertech, who are members of the Siptu union are to take part in a 24-hour long work stoppage on Friday in a dispute over pay.

Despite participating in talks on a pay increase since October last year, the company and workers have been unable to agree a deal.

Kyte Powertech described the workers' decision to take industrial action as regrettable.

"Our members have reluctantly voted in favour of strike action only after pursuing every other avenue open to them in their efforts to secure a pay increase that protects their standard of living and purchasing power," said SIPTU Organiser, Martin O'Rourke.

"As with workers across the economy, they face a cost of living crisis resulting from an inflation rate which is the highest in a generation and soaring costs for other essential services."

"These workers are seeking to reach a reasonable pay agreement that recognises the sacrifices they have made over recent years to ensure the continued success of this plant."

Kyte Powertech employs 455 people in its Cavan plant, making it the largest private employer in the region.

According to the firm, 360 of these are members of Siptu, although the union itself puts the figure at 420.

Local negotiations on a pay deal began last October but failed to reach agreement.

As a result, the issue was jointly referred to the Workplace Relations Commission, with engagements taking place involving both the firm and the union in February and April.

A comprehensive set of proposals was agreed by both parties in April, but it was rejected by workers.

The matter was then referred to the Labour Court in May and it subsequently issued a recommendation.

"The Company has accepted the Labour Court recommendation on enhanced pay, even though it went beyond what the company was prepared to pay, in the interests of maintaining good industrial relations," Kyte Powertech said in a statement.

"Sadly, the employees have chosen to reject the Labour Court recommendation."

A ballot for industrial action has since taken place among the workers, which was passed.

The union said the campaign of industrial action will begin with a 24-hour strike and an overtime ban.

"Given the challenging and uncertain business context, the Company cannot afford to further increase labour costs beyond the Labour Court recommendation which the Company views as the only basis for a solution," the company said.

"The employees’ rejection of the Labour Court recommendation means, regrettably, that there is currently no basis for pay increases backdated to January 1st of this year."

No further talks have taken place since the rejection of the Labour Court recommendation by the workers, but both sides said they remain available for discussions.

"SIPTU organisers and shop stewards are available to reconvene discussions and believe that agreement can easily be achieved that adequately recognises the efforts of these workers and is in line with commitments previously made by management," Martin O’Rourke said.