Management at global pharmaceutical company AbbVie have been urged to engage in talks with SIPTU or face an escalation in industrial action in the New Year.

Twenty-four machine operators at the Carrigtwohill plant in east Cork began an 48-hour work stoppage earlier today.

It is the last in a series of five planned work stoppages which began on 14 November in an on-going dispute over union recognition.

SIPTU organiser Paul De Puis confirmed that there has been no contact with the company.

He warned of an escalating in industrial action in the New Year if progress is not made between both sides.

150 people are employed at the plant, one of five operations run by the pharmaceutical company in Ireland.

SIPTU says the Labour Court ruled in favour of its members in relation to the dispute but that the company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is refusing to engage, or implement the Labour Court recommendation.

Last week, a spokesman for the company said it had no comment to make on the continuing industrial action.