Belfast City Council must intervene to ensure livelihoods of 140 casual workers employed by council-owned company at Waterfront & Ulster Hall

Councillors cannot wash their hands of this decision – they must intervene to secure jobs of Waterfront and Ulster Hall workers

Decision to lay off 140 workers made when employers had to contribute 33 percent of wages – it must be reconsidered now this has been reduced to five percent

Kieran Ellison, Unite Regional Officer called on Belfast City Council members to intervene to safeguard the livelihoods of 140 casual workers at council-owned Waterfront and Ulster Halls.

“The decision to lay-off 140 workers in the midst of a pandemic is nothing short of a disgrace. Many of those affected are skilled technicians with years of experience managing the successful operation of the Waterfront and Ulster Halls – some of Northern Ireland’s premier cultural centres. They have been singled out for lay off simply because they are employed on casual contracts.

“The councillors in Belfast City Council cannot wash their hands of this decision. These workers were employed by an arms-length company established and owned by the council itself. They must now intervene to safeguard these workers.

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Union reiterates its call for face coverings to be made compulsory for passengers on all forms of public transport

Moves under consideration by Stormont Executive for face coverings to be made compulsory on designated school transport services do not go far enough

Michael Dornan, Chair of Unite’s Metro driver branch, called on the Stormont Executive to make it compulsory that all passengers, including school children, have to wear face coverings on all forms of public transport.

“Since May, Unite has been calling for face coverings to be made compulsory for passengers for all forms of public transport in Northern Ireland. We understand that the Northern Ireland Executive is considering making the wearing of face coverings obligatory for school children on designated school runs but this does not go anywhere far enough.

“Many school children use a variety of services – often changing between modes, using rail and bus services to get to school. In Belfast only approximately 40 percent of schoolchildren get to school on designated services. We need to see face coverings become mandatory for school children, indeed all passengers, on all modes of public transport”, Mr Dornan said.

Adrian Kelly, chair of Unite’s branch of Northern Ireland Rail drivers, echoed the demand for face coverings to be worn.

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Spirit Aero systems acquisition of Bombardier operations is a vote of confidence for Northern Ireland’s Aerospace sector

Stormont and Westminster government must now follow through with a robust package to safeguard all aerospace jobs

Jackie Pollock, Regional Secretary of Unite, welcomed the news that the sale of Bombardier operations to Spirit Aero systems will proceed, securing jobs and skills in Northern Ireland.

“Today’s announcement confirms the acquisition of Bombardier aero-structure operations by Spirit Aero systems, a world leader in first-tier aero-structure manufacturing. This is positive news and will safeguard jobs as well as vital economic output and demand. It represents a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland’s aerospace sector.

Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary of Unite, commented on today’s news and called on Stormont and Westminster to follow it up with a robust long-term support package to safeguard all aerospace jobs.

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Trade unions proceed with industrial action ballot over council bosses £2,500 pay attack at Newry, Mourne and Down

Unions left no alternative but proceed to ballot after management attempts to resolve longstanding legacy council workforce differences by attacking pay and T&Cs

Council workers encouraged to participate in the ballot and send the strongest possible message to management that they stand ready to strike to avoid any detriment

Trade unions representing workers in Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, the GMB, NIPSA, SIPTU and UNITE issued a joint call for workers at the local authority to vote for industrial action, and action falling short of industrial action, in the current industrial ballot.

Kevin Kelly of NIPSA acting as the Joint Trade Union Side secretary said,

“Proceeding to take industrial action is always a last resort for trade unions – and that is even more the case at this time when we face the Covid-19 pandemic. After months and years seeking resolution through the avenue of negotiations, the trade union side has regretfully been left with no option but to ballot our members for industrial action.

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is the only local authority left in Northern Ireland to have failed to resolve the pay differences and wider terms and conditions disparities arising from the coming together of the legacy councils back more than five years ago.

“Council management has failed to abide by the terms & conditions agreement setting out how changes to T&Cs would be dealt with and they departed from guidelines agreed in the Job Evaluation scheme leading to detrimental treatment for our members.

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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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