Construction: Amended SEO will ensure stability as sector recovers from Covid

Unions seeking 4% annual pay rise over three years

July 28th: Unite, which represents workers throughout the construction sector, today (Wednesday) said that the amended Sectoral Employment Order being sought by unions will ensure stability as the sector recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, while also providing employers with a level playing field.  Unite is a member of the ICTU’s Construction Industry Committee which has made a submission to the Labour Court seeking an amended SEO.

Commenting, Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“All the indications are that the construction sector is rebounding strongly as we emerge from the pandemic.  The amended SEO being sought by unions will not only provide stability but will also make it more difficult for rogue operators to undercut good employers.

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Hospitality: New Unite survey reveals high levels of low pay, bullying and discrimination

As indoor hospitality re-opens, over half of respondents report non-adherence to Covid guidelines

July 26th: Unite, which represents hospitality workers, today (Monday) released the findings of a survey of hospitality workers in the sector.  As indoor hospitality re-opens, the research presents a worrying picture of an industry characterised by low pay, bullying and discrimination against women and migrant workers.  The report, Hidden Truths: the reality of work in Ireland’s hospitality and tourism sector, is available for download here.  Scroll down for a summary of the findings.

Commenting on the findings, Unite Hospitality and Tourism Coordinator Julia Marciniak said:

“This survey helps provide a solid evidence base for what hospitality workers have always known:  the sector is dominated by low pay, insecure contracts and poor working practices, bullying and discrimination.   It is clear that we need to re-boot the sector to ensure that it provides good jobs.

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DAA: Unite warns company against outsourcing attempts

Union accuses DAA of singling out members for discriminatory treatment

Unite, which represents craft workers at Dublin Airport, this evening (Friday) warned the DAA against any attempt to outsource work in Asset Care.  The warning follows a statement by the DAA this evening in which the company indicates its intention to commence engagement regarding the provision of frontline maintenance services through third party providers, notwithstanding the fact that the Labour Court recommendation to which the company’s statement refers has not been rejected by Unite.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said:

 “In their statement, the DAA refers to a lack of ‘meaningful progress’.  Unite would argue that any lack of progress may have been due to an absence of meaningful engagement on the part of the company.   

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DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying

After 90.9 percent strike vote, workforce pickets to be deployed at Woodburn DfI Roads in Derry/Londonderry during twenty-four strike, which starts midnight on Thursday, July 22rd

Gareth Scott, Regional Officer

Road Service workers’ union Unite warns first twenty-four hour stoppage at Woodburn likely to escalate in absence of Ministerial intervention

Gareth Scott, Regional Officer for Unite confirmed that his union had written to Department for Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to seek her intervention to address management bullying and avert industrial action by DfI Roads Service workers.

Unite members working for DfI Roads Service at the Woodburn Depot have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in respect of bullying. Our members claim that they have been bullied by their manager for years, they have raised it informally and nothing was done; they then submitted formal complaints, again nothing was done and no investigation was invoked (although it is now being invoked in response to the industrial action ballot). 

“Not only was no investigation set up, there has been no precautionary separation introduced (e.g. temporary suspension or temporary transfer of the manager the complaint is against), thus the manager the complaints are against has continued to be in charge of the complainants. Obviously our goal is to end of bullying in the workplace; however the workers’ immediate demand is for precautionary separation so as to protect the complainants (victims) whilst the investigation is conducted. This could be done by either temporarily suspending the manager on full pay, or temporarily transferring the manager, if the latter action is taken then the employees would be prepared to suspend the action and await the outcome of the investigation.

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Unite workforce vote overwhelmingly for strike ballot at Balcas over chocolate bar insult for working through Covid lockdown

Two mass workplace meetings at Enniskillen timber mill vote to initiate strike ballot for proper recognition of Covid lockdown effort

Management claims that Covid recognition payment is included in a two and a half-year old pay deal are completely rejected by workforce

Gareth Scott, Regional Officer for Unite confirmed that his union would proceed to ballot its membership at Balcas after two workplace meetings voted for the move in face of the continued failure of bosses to recognise their efforts in working throughout the Covid lockdown. from 2019 show profits of £6.3 million

“Alongside workers in hospitals and in nursing homes, Balcas workers were among the few who were told they had to continue working throughout the Covid lockdown as their work was deemed essential. Management claimed that the timber mill needed to continue producing in order to supply the wood-pellet fired heating systems of government buildings, nursing homes and hospitals and provide pallets for the transport of food and medical supplies. 

“The decision to continue full-scale production throughout the lockdown exposed the workers to elevated risk with many falling ill during Covid outbreaks.

“Unite shop stewards at Balcas sought a special Covid recognition payment for the workers’ efforts and sacrifice. During recent pay talks to conclude a three-year pay deal, management refused to discuss any additional payment stating it was a separate issue that could be discussed at a later date. Now bosses claim the recognition for working through Covid is reflected in the pay deal which they are telling workers is better than a one-off payment. 

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