Premier Periclase: Nine-week strike ends following Labour Court recommendation

Trade union Unite, which represents workers at Drogheda magnesia plant Premier Periclase, today (Friday) announced that its members will be returning to work on Monday 19 October following nine weeks on the picket line.  The decision follows a Labour Court recommendation which addresses the workers’ concerns.  Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said:

“Our members spent nine weeks on the picket line, and their determination to secure decent treatment has been vindicated by the Labour Court which issued a favourable recommendation yesterday addressing the workers’ concerns.  Our members have voted to accept the recommendation and will be returning to work on Monday.  This outcome again illustrates the importance of workers coming together in a union to defend and advance their terms and conditions collectively”, Mr Quigley said.

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Department of Health must work with, and facilitate, growing number of employers who have agreed to roll-out programme of workplace flu vaccinations

More and more companies are agreeing to provide workforce flu jabs on foot of Unite the union initiative

Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer

Unite is strongly encouraging its members to take the flu jab as the best way to protect themselves, their workplaces and relieve pressure on the NHS

Growing numbers of employers have agreed to organise workforce vaccination events on site after Unite officers contacted them as party of a union initiative to support the NHS and protect workers during the Covid pandemic. The list currently includes ABP Meats, Lycra, DuPont, Dale Farm, Severfield, Kerry Foods and Caterpillar.

Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer for workers in the health sector welcomed the move and encouraged more employers to step up and provide flu jabs to their employees.

“Unite took the initiative of contacting employers across Northern Ireland to encourage them to facilitate large-scale vaccination of workers onsite. This is the best way to get as many workers vaccinated as quickly as possible.

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With less than 48 hours left until tens of thousands face a cliff-edge on their incomes, hospitality workers demand Stormont Executive introduces a full wage support package for the sector

Frontline workers in bars, restaurants and hotels likely to be thrown into misery by latest closure, coming after months of reduced hours and being paid only 80 percent of an already low wage

Following today’s Executive announcement that hospitality businesses are to face takeaway-only restrictions or closure from Friday, Unite members working in hospitality issued a demand for a package guaranteeing full wage supports to be announced by the Stormont Executive.

Unite Hospitality organiser in Northern Ireland, Neil Moore, expressed his union’s dismay at today’s announcement and called for full wage supports.

“For the second time in six months hospitality workers have been hung out to dry. Many of our members were forced into debt during the previous period of closure when they received a bare 80% of what were already low wages. This pittance will force many more into poverty and struggling to put food on the table. We have had members on the phone today having to cancel fuel orders; worried about paying their mortgages; or rent never mind how they can deliver a Christmas for their kids.

“Our members made clear to us today that a rescue package must be put in place that focuses on workers – not simply employers. With the additional funding promised, Stormont must step up and do their part – that means a guarantee to properly support hospitality workers’ incomes. Our members can’t survive on a ‘portion’ of a minimum wage.  

“Additional supports are also needed for the hospitality industry, made contingent on bosses keeping workers in jobs, protecting their full wage and preventing a round of hidden job losses through ‘redundancy by zero-hours’ or fire/rehire arrangements”, he said.

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Stormont Executive must provide additional wage protections for hospitality workers they have locked out of their workplaces

Neil Moore, Unite Hospitality Organiser

Without supports latest shutdown by Stormont Executive will result in a second wave of redundancies and reductions to incomes

Existing UK government’s job support scheme provides hospitality workers with only two thirds of their average hourly wage of £8.84

Speaking ahead of an official announcement of the closure of the hospitality sector expected later this morning. Neil Moore, Unite Organiser for the hospitality sector commented:

“Hospitality workers woke up this morning to news of a second lockdown, there’s mass anxiety around jobs and livelihoods from workers who feel they are being kicked whilst they are down and will once again be made to pay the price for this global pandemic

“Unite estimates that while one in eight jobs in the sector have already been lost; one in six of those who remain could lose their jobs in the next six months as businesses warn of up to 40,000 job losses as they are set to fail given lockdown measures and further restrictions on the hospitality sector.

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Brendan Ogle: Pandemic Budget benefits usual suspects

Opportunity to rethink economy missed

Business supports must be contingent on improved workers’ rights

October 13th: In an initial response to Budget 2021, trade union Unite, which represents workers in all sectors, today said that the Budget fails to lay the groundwork for a move to a sustainable wage-led recovery once the Covid-19 emergency is over.  Commenting, the union’s Senior Officer in the Republic of Ireland, Brendan Ogle, said that the government has missed an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the economy in the interests of society, and was instead attempting to address the new challenges posed by the pandemic using old and failed approaches.  Those approaches, Mr Ogle said, will benefit the same interests who benefited previously, and leave behind those already left behind before.

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