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'This is like being back in the 1970s'

Married with five children and four grandchildren Wyse said financially it's tough. "Mortgages have to be paid and strike pay of €125 a week doesn't go far," he said.

"My wife and the rest of the family don't want me to do this but they know I won't be walked on," he said.

Wyse's action harks back to an era of strikes and lockouts, in the 1970s and '80s. But not everybody is of like mind.

"The company brought in replacements from Burnley in England to replace us. They put them up in a local hotel and bussed them in every day. They mooned at us as they sped past the gates," he said.

But the 'strike breakers', as Wyse puts it, got caught up in a fracas in a local nightclub and have since returned to Burnley.

They have since been replaced with willing staff from around Ireland.

"Today, if you drop down dead somebody will walk over you," he said.

Wyse is more understanding of the mainly Polish and Filipino workers who have continued working during the dispute.

"Many of them are supporting families back home and they explain to us that they can't afford to get involved," he said.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 21st, 2010 at 03:47:03 PM EST

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