Crane operators: Unite members vote to endorse union agreement

unite-white-out-of-redVote paves way for Registered Employment Agreement

July 17th: Crane operators are on the way to improved terms and conditions after members voted to endorse an agreement between Unite and Siptu paving the way for both unions to work towards a Registered Employment Agreement.

The agreement was negotiated between the General Secretaries of both unions, and put to a ballot of Unite members who voted unanimously to endorse the agreement. The agreement also includes a joint statement from the two General Secretaries, set to be issued to major contractors in the sector, condemning blacklisting.

Welcoming the vote, Unite Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald said:

“This agreement enshrines the fundamental principle that workers should be able to freely choose the union representing them.  It commits both unions to working for the early establishment of a Registered Employment Agreement for crane operators, ensuring that pay increases and other terms and conditions are enshrined in law. Significantly, it includes a condemnation of blacklisting in the sector, a practice that Mr Fitzgerald said remains a feature of the sector.

“Now that our members have endorsed the agreement, Unite’s focus will be on working with the rest of the trade union movement to ensure that the fruits of the current construction boom are shared among all workers in the sector, including crane operators”, Tom Fitzgerald concluded.

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IAC: Unite serves notice of further strike action on July 19th

unite-white-out-of-redArchaeologists to Dig4Decency rather than history at Aungier Street site

Unite, which represents commercial archaeologists in Ireland, today (Wednesday July 11th) announced that members working for consultancy IAC Archaeology will be taking further strike action against the Irish Archaeological Consultancy on Thursday July 19th.  The action, notice of which was served today, follows a 24-hour strike last week at the N22 Macroom Bypass scheme, and will involve a 24-hour stoppage of archaeological works being carried out in Dublin’s Aungier Street.

In June, Unite members working for IAC voted to take strike action on foot of the company’s refusal to engage with Unite regarding a pay claim, either directly or through the Workplace Relations Commission.

Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said:

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Airbus order must mean an end of Bombardier cost-cutting and outsourcing from Northern Ireland

unite-white-out-of-redJetBlue orders 120 Airbus A220 aircraft, formerly Bombardier CSeries, with wings built in Belfast

July 11th: Unite Regional Secretary in Ireland, Jackie Pollock, welcomed news that airline operator JetBlue had ordered 60 Airbus A220 aircraft (formerly the Bombardier CSeries), with a view to ordering a further 60 in future years. On the back of this news Unite once again are insisting that this vote of confidence in the aircraft would translate into an end to cost-cutting measures across Bombardier sites in Northern Ireland and instead mean an expansion in the local workforce.

 “This news is a tremendous fillip for the workers at Bombardier sites in Northern Ireland. JetBlue has confirmed an order for 60 Airbus A220s for completion in 2020 with the possibility of further order of 60 of these aircraft subsequently. This aircraft was formerly marketed as the Bombardier CSeries and the name-change reflects the fact that Airbus is fully integrating the plane into their product offering.

“Given that the wings for this aircraft are manufactured in Belfast – this provides great assurance to the Bombardier workers in Northern Ireland. We should remember that only a few months ago this was a workforce who mobilised to successfully see off threatened punitive US tariffs by the Trump administration. Continue reading

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Crane operators:  Unite members to ballot on proposed union agreement

unite-white-out-of-redProposal paves way for pay increases and other terms and conditions to be enshrined in Registered Employment Agreement

July 11th: Last night, at a general meeting of its crane operator membership, trade union Unite opened a ballot on a proposed agreement between Unite and Siptu regarding the representation of crane operators in the Republic of Ireland.  The proposed agreement also commits both unions to work for the early establishment of a Registered Employment Agreement for crane operators.

The proposed agreement, shaped between General Secretaries of both unions, follows protracted discussions on how crane operators can best be represented in the Irish construction sector.

It provides for independent validation of the numbers of crane operators who are members of each union or of both and also includes a mechanism for those workers who have duel union membership to choose which union they want to be a member of.

Under the proposal, an agreed individual will investigate, and make recommendations on, representation of General Operative grades across the construction sector.

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Department for Infrastructure officials must heed public opposition to opening bus lanes to private taxis

unite-white-out-of-redThousands sign petitions hosted by bus drivers’ union Unite and sustainable transport lobby

Concerns raised about absence of equality screening in consultation on opening of Belfast bus lanes to 4,500 private taxis

July 6th: Speaking on the closing date of the consultation process, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer, Davy Thompson, called on the Department for Infrastructure to review proposals which threaten to undo years of Executive policy, opening bus lanes across the city to an estimated four thousand five hundred private taxis.

“Since this consultation opened just three weeks ago, Unite the union has led the public challenge to the ‘land-grab’ by influential private taxi owners. Following our intervention many questions have been raised by commentators about how and why this change is being suggested just weeks ahead of the launch of the £110 million Glider rapid transit project, the first investment in public transport in Northern Ireland in decades. It appears simply a sop offered to the private taxi owners which will completely undermine this investment. Continue reading

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