An Irish union representing workers in the pork industry has warned that as many as 6,000 jobs have been put at risk after a full recall of all Irish pork products was ordered by the country's food safety watchdog.

According to the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), this weekend's recall, which was issued after it emerged that around 10% of Irish pigmeat is contaminated with dioxins, has already resulted in job losses.

"The crisis is already leading to thousands of workers being laid off and it is far from clear how many will be able to resume work again," National Industrial Secretary Gerry McCormack said today (8 December).

Pork producer Rosderra Meats laid off 900 employees at its four plants this morning. The company was unavailable for comment as just-food went to press.

"Very serious questions have to be asked about the current traceability system. Most of the plants where workers were laid off, including Rosderra Meats, were not affected by contamination. This means the present system counts for nothing," SIPTU Branch Organiser Frank Jones said.