Northern Ireland Executive must deliver for Just-About-Managing Households

GTELS1UK in-work poverty surges as average wages in Northern Ireland fall further behind those in UK or Republic of Ireland

Draft Programme for Government fails to include indicators on raising pay, productivity or investment in the economy

December 7th: Following publication of a study conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation identifying a sharp increase in the numbers of UK working households living in poverty, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly criticised the failure to include any measure on poverty pay in the draft Northern Ireland Executive Programme for Government:

“The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report shows that 7.4 million people in the UK now live in working households in poverty – that’s an increase of two million over the past ten years.

“While equivalent figures for Northern Ireland were not produced – it is clear from the huge average pay differential that the incidence of in-work poverty here will be much greater. Average pay in Northern Ireland was just £20,394 in 2015 compared to £27,600 for the UK as a whole and the equivalent of over £31,000 in the Republic of Ireland. The difference is widening not narrowing. Continue reading

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Fermanagh and Omagh District Council becomes third in Northern Ireland to become a Living Wage employer

25 April 2016 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

Unite Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, calls on other councils to follow-suit and lead fight against poverty pay

Decision reflects growing confidence of trade union movement in council area

Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly welcomed a commitment from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council that they will become a fully-accredited Living Wage employer:

“This is the latest success story in our campaign for workers to receive a Living Wage. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council corporate management are to be congratulated for their progressive response to campaigners on this issue.

“The decision means that all council employees will now be paid a minimum of £8.45 an hour. While this is certainly no ransom, the increase will be an early Christmas gift to those who previously received only the minimum wage. Continue reading

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Industrial action suspended at Saica and Smurfit-Kappa to allow for further negotiations on a two-year pay deal

nigel-gregg1Work-to-rule and strike action suspended for twenty-eight days as management return to negotiations

November 24th:  Confirming that unions representing members in Confederation of Paper Industries employers, including Saica and Smurfit-Kappa in Northern Ireland, have decided to suspend industrial action scheduled over the next days, Unite Regional Officer, Nigel Gregg said:

“We welcome the agreement reached between trade unions and the Confederation of Paper Industries to bring forward further negotiations.

“Employers have confirmed to us their interest in negotiating a two-year pay settlement. In order to give space to this process, the unions have agreed to suspend their action for twenty-eight days – this means that industrial action planned for Saica and Smurfit-Kappa plants in Warrenpoint and Lurgan over the next days will not go ahead”, Mr Gregg concluded.

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CityJet: Unite defers industrial action on foot of WRC proposal

unite-white-out-of-redNovember 23rd: Unite, which represents pilots working for Dublin-based airline CityJet, this evening announced that it is deferring the strike action scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) following talks at the Workplace Relations Commission and the subsequent issuing of a proposal which Unite has accepted.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said:

“While Unite awaits the Labour Court hearing on the pay dispute, we hope for meaningful engagement with CityJet on the other outstanding matters”.

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Industrial action to proceed at Saica and Smurfit-Kappa in Warrenpoint and Lurgan

Nigel Gregg1.pngStrike action likely to disrupt packaging supplies to Amazon and other suppliers

Combined sectoral management blame Brexit for rejecting ‘reasonable’ pay claim

November 23rd: Speaking ahead of an overtime ban commencing and a first twenty-four hour strike at packaging companies Saica and Smurfit-Kappa, Unite Regional Officer, Nigel Gregg, called on employers to return to the table with a realistic pay offer to avoid unnecessary disruption:

“Workers at Warrenpoint Saica and the company’s satellite plant at Lurgan, will join employees at Smurfit-Kappa in the same town, in industrial action to secure a fair pay deal. Action is being taken following a 77% vote for strike action by Saica, Smurfit-Kappa and DS Smith workers across the UK.

“Employees across all sites will initiate a continuous, strict overtime ban from midnight on Friday (November 25th). This will be followed up by a first, twenty-four hour strike from midnight Sunday (November 27th) to midnight Monday (November 28th). A second twenty-four hour action will commence exactly a week after the first. Continue reading

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