Hope springs eternal they say, so we can but hope for a just and equitable settlement which would allow us all to move on with our lives.
It would be easy to be pessimistic given the history of this struggle. The ex-employees have bought into this mediation mechanism with a willingness to accept the process as a positive step forward. I hope that this sentiment applies to all the participants equally and that the receipt of closure will enable both employees and employer to focus on their respective futures. However, if the recommendations from the mediation talks fail to be accepted by all parties, we all feel a moral justification in continuing this struggle.
I personally will continue my struggle with cancer and hopefully will make a full recovery in time. I have no other option as I wish to watch all my grandchildren grow up and reach adulthood. So here’s to being 85! Only 25 years to go, but who’s counting.
I have noticed in all the ex-employees a continued pride in having worked for Vita Cortex and I myself still find myself being proud of the products we made and the colleagues i have known over the years. I also wonder how I will eventually adjust to not having daily contact with those colleagues.
I recall Barry Twomey (rip) talking to me about the need to prepare for retirement as it could be a very traumatic experience. Unfortunately, for some of us in the current economic climate this is not optional but mandatory retirement which will be very traumatic both financially and socially. However, as in our working lives I believe we will all be there to support each other in the future.
This experience has changed us all to lesser and greater extents. I think it will be seen to have deepened friendships and also created one or two political activists in the process which of itself is a good thing. I am now beginning to better understand that the true strength of a democracy lies in the willingness of its citizens to struggle to protect it and not to simply accept the dictates of political parties and vested interests -or in simple terms “you get the government you voted (or couldn’t be bothered to vote at all) for” and they can now do whatever they wish for the next five years which is a very long time in anyone’s life.
Thank you all for your support. It has been amazing.
Henry O’Reilly is a Vita Cortex worker with over forty years service. He is currently battling cancer and he is doing extremely well.