Unite raises concerns with HSA and Solas
Being forced to work in windy conditions among breaches cited
April 28th: Unite, which organises 85% of crane operators in Ireland and all crane operators in Dublin, said today (Friday April 28th) that crane operators are on what Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald termed the “health and safety front line”, with operators often being forced to work in unsafe conditions. Speaking in Dublin on International Workers Memorial Day, he said that the tower cranes currently dominating the capital’s skyline have the potential to injure crane operators, other building workers and members of the public.
Mr Fitzgerald revealed that Unite has raised its concerns with the HSA and Solas, and he called on employers to enter a “safety pact” with workers.
Low wages and precarious working endemic in sector
April 26th: Unite, which organises 85% of tower crane operators in Ireland, today announced that it is sending out a draft industry agreement to the Construction Industry Federation and individual employers. The move is part of a campaign to address the low wages and precarious working arrangements which are endemic in the sector, which is dominated by agency working.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald said:
“When the recession hit the construction industry in 2008, workers were forced to take a succession of cuts – but employers are reluctant to share the fruits of recovery with their workers. Wages remain depressed, and many employers do not pay overtime. Some refuse to issue pay slips, and effectively rob their workers of hours and holiday pay.
“Crane drivers are amongst the most skilled workers in the construction industry – and their job is among the most stressful. Every lift has the potential to cause damage, injury or death, and operators are accountable for maintenance of complex machinery. Yet they face low wages and precarious working conditions.
“Unite has today written to the Construction Industry Federation and individual employers proposing a draft industry agreement providing a fair basis for the employment of tower crane operators. We hope that employers will engage with us and reach agreement to avoid any disruption.
“Ireland’s crane drivers need a lift – and Unite is working with them to ensure they get it”, Tom Fitzgerald concluded.
Unite industrial and community branches to join protests at coming SHSCT Board meeting
Creeping closure of A&E unit and downgrading of Daisy Hill engineered to open door to private sector providers
Unite Regional Officer Kevin McAdam announced that his union would be fully supporting protests called by the Saving Daisy Hill Hospital campaign at the next meeting of the Southern Health & Social Care Trust Board in Craigavon hospital this coming Thursday (April 27th) at 11am.
“The Southern Health Trust’s plans to restrict opening hours for the A&E at Daisy Hill Hospital to 8am to 8pm threaten immediate and potentially devastating consequences for the entire community in the Newry, Mourne and South Armagh areas. Patients will be required to attend the Craigavon A&E which would mean a one hour ten minutes ambulance journey in the case of someone from Annalong – leaving them outside the ‘golden hour’ which is considered essential for patient safety. Continue reading
Posted in Northern Ireland news, Press Releases, Public Services
Tagged #Unite4NHS, austerity cuts, Daisy Hill, Golden Six, Kevin McAdam, NHS, protest, Unite in the Community, Unite NI
Management and government responsible for financial crisis highlighted in recommendation
Focus now must be on charting sustainable route for public transport
April 13th: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, confirmed this afternoon that its members – who have been on strike for 21 days – are set to return to work following the Labour Court’s issuing of a recommendation. Noting that management must take responsibility for the financial crisis at the company highlighted by the Labour Court, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said that the focus now must be on charting what he termed a ‘sustainable route forward’ for Ireland’s public transport system, including Bus Éireann.