Ireland's largest union, SIPTU, is seeking talks with Dunnes Stores on the future of 477 staff at warehousing and distribution company Whelan's Frozen Foods.

Dunnes has been ­Whelan's only customer for 25 years. But a bitter dispute developed as Dunnes attempted to slash the margins it paid and the supplier took court action. At the height of the battle, Dunnes announced it was cancelling Whelan's contract and the companies have been trying to work out a notice period.

Dunnes is planning to establish its own logistics operation and SIPTU is hoping to persuade management to take on the displaced Whelan's workers.