Wrightbus recruitment freeze latest blow to Ballymena and NI Manufacturing sector

Joanne McWilliamsFailure of NI Executive parties to agree to stand-alone Industrial Strategy in context of Brexit leaves manufacturing workforce facing uncertainty

Unite seeking urgent meeting with Wrightbus management on long-term implications of move

August 24th: Unite Regional Officer, Joanne McWilliams, who represents the union’s workforce at Wrightbus expressed her concerns at the recent announcement by management at the company:

“The announcement by Wrightbus management that they will impose an immediate freeze on recruitment heightens uncertainty among our membership and the wider workforce.

“This is particularly concerning given the recent closure notices in both JTI-Gallaher and Michelin – resulting in almost two thousand direct job losses in the local economy.

“The failure of the Northern Ireland Executive to adopt a stand-alone Industrial Strategy means that our manufacturing workforce is exposed to the full headwinds of Brexit and continued global economic turbulence. Continue reading

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Absence of manufacturing strategy leaves Stormont inactive as heavy manufacturing sector continues to haemorrhage jobs

B002ombardier announces almost one hundred redundancies in core Belfast workforce, with potential for more in complementary (temporary) labour force

Unite demands urgent talks with Ministers to seek proactive approach to defending manufacturing jobs

August 10th: Responding to Bombardier plans for almost one hundred redundancies among its permanent workforce in Belfast, Davy Thompson, Regional Coordinating Officer for Unite reiterated his union’s call for a proactive strategy for heavy manufacturing:

“Bombardier has informed their Belfast workforce that almost one hundred permanent workers are to be made redundant with the potential that further losses will be felt in its agency staff. This announcement brings to 735 the number of workers at the former Shorts site who are set to lose their jobs this year.

“Unite is calling for urgent talks with Stormont Ministers to discuss what has been an ongoing, consistent theme of closures and redundancies over the past two years. Continue reading

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Maser ‘Repeal the Eighth’ mural travels to Unite offices on Middle Abbey Street

August 9th: Unite today unite-white-out-of-redinstalled a replica of street artist Maser’s ‘Repeal the Eighth’ mural at its Middle Abbey Street offices in Dublin.  The mural, which was originally painted on the Project Arts Centre, had to be removed following a notice from Dublin City Council that it contravened planning laws.   Explaining Unite’s decision to erect a replica in one of its doors, the union’s Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:

“Last year, over 3,400 women travelled from the Republic to the UK to access abortion. As a pro-choice union, Unite has consistently argued that the Eighth Amendment must be repealed as a first step to enabling women to access safe, legal and affordable terminations in Ireland.

“We hope that this striking piece of artwork will make passers-by on Middle Abbey Street stop and think not only about the thousands of women who travel each year to access a vital medical service, but also about the thousands more who are unable to make that journey – for example, women on low incomes, women with disabilities or women who are too ill to travel”.

Regional Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor added:

Continue reading

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Belfast City Council Lord Mayor to present prizes at Unite in the Community cross-community football tournament

202 pixTen junior soccer teams to compete in Friendship tournament at the Hammer Complex

Tournament part of Unite in the community’s efforts to build reconciliation at grassroots level

August 6th: Speaking ahead of the tournament, Unite Community Coordinator, Albert Hewitt, offered a particular welcome to Belfast City Council Lord Mayor Brian Kingston:

“Unite in the community are very actively involved in grassroots campaign work in working-class communities on both sides of the peace walls in Belfast. We recognise the need for actions to break down divisions between our communities. Continue reading

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Waterford Regional Airport: Pickets lifted following dispute resolution

unite-white-out-of-redAugust 3rd: Unite today announced that pickets have been lifted at Waterford Regional Airport following the conclusion of talks with management yesterday afternoon which resulted in resolution of the dispute.

Five of the union’s twelve members at the airport will receive a voluntary redundancy package, while the remaining seven workers will have their hours raised to 33, the same as supervisory grades.  The discrepancy between the hours cuts unilaterally inflicted on the grades represented by Unite – whose hours were cut from 39 to 21 – and supervisors was one of the issues in dispute.

Other outstanding issues are being referred to the Workplace Relations Commission.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly said:

“It is thanks to the determined action by our members that management came to the table and a resolution of this dispute was achieved.  The task now faced by management is to chart a sustainable path forward for Waterford Regional Airport.

“Unite and our members at Waterford Airport would like to thank everyone who supported us during this dispute”, Tony Kelly concluded.

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