Greenwich Leisure Limited corner-cutting is impacting health & safety at Belfast Leisure Centres

white-out-of-red-fullUnite announces ‘May Day March’ on City Hall to demand municipal leisure centres are returned to in-house management

Outsourced management company’s cuts to pool maintenance workers leave Jacuzzis green and pools without chlorine

April 25th: Unite Regional Officer, Michael Keenan, confirmed his union is to have a ‘May Day’ March [May 1st] at 5pm from his union’s regional offices on the Antrim Road to a rally outside Belfast City Hall to demand councillors bring failing leisure services back in-house from outsourced management company Greenwich Leisure Limited.

“Leisure workers will once again mobilise to show their opposition to Belfast City Council’s outsourcing of leisure centres to management company Greenwich Leisure Limited. This move was always about delivering ‘cost-savings’ by any means possible. Unfortunately the only cost-savings GLL can come up with are staff redundancies, the introduction of a two-tier workforce, understaffing, corner-cutting on health & safety and above-inflation price-hikes that are pushing leisure services out of the reach of working-class Belfast communities. Continue reading

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Irish Life: Decision to close pension scheme down to greed rather than need

unite-white-out-of-redJackie Pollock says workers backed by Unite strike fund amounting to tens of millions

April 24th: Speaking on the Irish Life picket line in Dublin today, Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock said the decision by Great West Lifeco and Irish Life management to close the workers’ healthy Defined Benefit pension scheme had “nothing to do with need and everything to do with greed”. Pledging the union’s full support to members in Irish Life, he pointed out that Unite has a strike fund totalling tens of millions of Euro.

Unite members in Irish Life are today engaged in a second 24-hour stoppage in a dispute centred on the company’s unilateral decision to close the workers’ Defined Benefit pension scheme as of June 30th without the union’s agreement.

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Irish Life dispute: Second strike day set for April 24th

unite-white-out-of-redIrish workers squeezed as Great West Lifeco dividends rise

Union challenges company to explain why Ireland singled out for scheme closure

April 19th:  Unite today announced that a second day of strike action at Irish Life will take place on Tuesday April 24th. The dispute centres on the company’s unilateral decision to close the workers’ Defined Benefit pension scheme as of June 30th without the union’s agreement.

The scheme has never been in deficit, the surplus will be €240 million on June 30th, and the scheme has assets of around €1.1 billion.  Closure of the DB scheme would result in workers losing up to 35% of their anticipated retirement income, leaving many facing pension poverty.

Close to 800 Unite members will be involved in the 24-hour stoppage, which will last from 0.01 hours to 23.59 hours on Tuesday April 24th and will involve pickets being placed on Irish Life offices in Dublin and Dundalk.  The action follows a 24-hour strike last Thursday, and will again significantly impact on all aspects of Irish Life’s operations.

Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said members were particularly angry that Irish Life’s decision to close the staff pension scheme coincided with a 6% increase in the dividends paid by parent company Great West Lifeco to shareholders.  Mr Browne also queried the company’s decision to close the Irish Life pension scheme while other Defined Benefit schemes in the Great West Lifeco group remain open to future accrual.

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More support and greater security needed to prevent harassment of public transport workers

Unite 041Female conductor was subjected repeatedly to physical and sexual harassment by drunken passengers

Those responsible for abusive harassment of public transport workers must face full weight of the law

Unite Regional Officer Davy Thompson called on Translink to provide more support for its frontline staff after the latest incident where a female conductor was subjected to repeated physical and sexual harassment by drunken passengers.

“Like every worker, those employed to provide public transport services have a legitimate expectation that when they go to work they will not be subjected to physical or sexual harassment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Continue reading

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Bus services to be diverted away from Lagmore View for foreseeable future after recent spate of attacks

pe_00694871Latest attack demonstrates that there are some who, for whatever reason, are determined to stop buses from operating in estate

Drivers commend efforts of local community representatives to attempt to address ongoing attacks

April 15th: Unite Regional Officer Davy Thompson confirmed that services to Lagmore view will be diverted after a second attack on a driver in a period of three days,

“Following the second serious attack on a bus in the last three days – in which the driver’s side window was smashed with a brick – the decision has been taken to revert to the previous diverted service route meaning that service coverage in the Lagmore area in West Belfast will no longer extend to Lagmore View estate. Continue reading

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