GLL spin on corner-cutting does not address continued Health & Safety concerns at Belfast Leisure Centres

unite-white-out-of-redOutsourced management company tell press they have fifty-five pool plant operators when there are none remaining

Crisis at pools continues with corner-cutting on staffing leading to continued failure to chlorinate and dangerous practice

Unite Regional Officer, Michael Keenan, responded to recent spin from management company Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) which attempted to deflect public opprobrium for its corner-cutting on staffing and health & safety at Belfast leisure centres.

“Unite members working in municipal leisure facilities in Belfast have repeatedly highlighted their concerns over the Health & Safety impact of corner-cutting by GLL at the behest of Belfast City Council. In the past months, we have highlighted how the Jacuzzi at Avoneil had to be closed after the failure to retain pool plant operators led to legionella spores twenty times the legal limit with the water running green; we have also exposed pools being reopened half full and how pools remained open despite protestations of staff after diarrhoea incidents.

“This is all part of the corner-cutting approach taken by outsourced management company, GLL, on behalf of Belfast City Council. Only today concerned workers contacted us to inform us that the pool in Ballysillan remained open despite their protests while an angle-grinder was used to remove unsafe, and inappropriate, tiles which had been recently installed by management. Continue reading

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Unions warn contractors on blacklisting

unite-white-out-of-redJuly 25th: Trade unions Unite and Siptu have issued a joint statement condemning the practice of blacklisting in the construction sector and warning those who engage in what the unions term this “obnoxious behaviour” that they will face a united action against them.

Blacklisting refers to the practice of employers in a sector circulating details of those known to be engaged in trade union activity with a view to preventing their employment in the sector.  The practice is especially widespread in the construction sector, both in Ireland and internationally.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald said:

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English Language Teachers left behind by QQI Bill

unite-white-out-of-red‘Learner Protection Fund’ should be matched by ‘Teacher Protection Fund’ following LanLearn debacle

July 24th:  Unite today said that the Qualification and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill published by Higher Education Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor leaves English Language Teachers behind.

Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said:

“Our members are angry but not surprised to learn that there is no mention of teachers in the draft legislation.

“The English Language Teaching sector has been built on the backs of workers, with precarious employment conditions rife and some teachers earning as little as €13 per hour.

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IAC admits to poverty pay as Unite archaeologists continue to Dig4Decency

unite-white-out-of-redUnion repeats call on company to attend WRC

Experienced archaeologists paid just €12.50 per hour to defend our heritage

Trade union Unite, which is currently engaged in a dispute with the Irish Archaeological Consultancy over the company’s refusal to engage with the union on a pay claim, said today that the company had admitted to a history of paying poverty wages.  The union was commenting on IAC’s claim that it had increased wages by 65% over the past four years – effectively stating that in 2014 it was paying archaeologists below the Minimum Wage.

Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said:

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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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