Shane Ross compromised by long-standing hostility to CIE, NTA

unite-white-out-of-redUnite members have no confidence in ‘missing Minister’

Ross must ‘step in or step aside’

March 30th: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, today warned that Transport Minister Shane Ross’s long-standing hostility to CIE and the National Transport Authority seriously compromises his position as Transport Minister at a time when Ireland’s public transport system is facing unprecedented challenges.  Regional Officer Willie Quigley said that, if the Minister is ideologically unable to fight the corner of public transport at the Cabinet table, he must make way for someone prepared to take on that task. Stating that Mr Ross must ‘step in or step aside’, Mr Quigley stated that the Minister could start doing his job by intervening to bring Bus Éireann back to the WRC to engage collectively with workers.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said today:

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Southern Health & Social Care Trust must guarantee future of Daisy Hill Emergency Unit

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Concerns mount that health trust may justify Emergency Department closure on grounds of inability to recruit consultants

Union warns against sleight-of-hand attempt to close facility through ‘temporary closure’ announcement, meaning no public consultation

March 30th: Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer with responsibility for Health and Social Care workers has demanded the retention of the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill hospital following a press statement by the Southern HSCT casting a shadow over the facility’s future:

“Unite the union stands opposed to any diminution of facilities at Daisy Hill hospital. Today’s statement by the Southern HSCT will send a shudder of fear into the local community in that area who know that this is likely the precursor to a decision to close the Emergency Department in that hospital.

“HSC trusts justify decisions to close facilities on the basis of an inability to recruit the requisite staff but there is a strong sense that these are manufactured crises which enable the Trusts to make decisions that are known to be strongly opposed locally. The loss of regional Emergency Departments has more to do with implementing austerity budgets than either objective medical needs or the difficulty in recruiting consultants. Continue reading

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Schivo NI, formerly Maydown Precision Engineering, enters receivership, its closure is latest blow to North West industrial base

Unite Conference 49Company that formerly employed eighty-five closes its doors, ending fifty years manufacturing activity on Maydown site

Union expresses outrage at Schivo which has left workers to seek minimum statutory redundancy pay from Department

March 30th: Chair of Unite’s Executive Council in Ireland, Liam Gallagher, expressed his dismay over the failure of administrators to find a buyer for the former Maydown Precision Engineering, rebranded Schivo NI. The Derry/Londonderry manufacturer will now close its doors tomorrow.

“The news that the administrator of the former Maydown Precision Engineering, now Schivo NI, has failed to find a buyer for the company is another serious blow to the Northwest’s Manufacturing base.

“Maydown previously employed eighty-five workers in what was a high value-added manufacturer before it was taken over by Schivo, and rebranded Schivo NI. The site will now close its doors permanently tomorrow ending fifty years of manufacturing activity on the Maydown site.
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Unite community branches protests against Tory Benefit Sanctions

albert-hewitt1Fresh Start deal allowed Tories to introduce benefit sanctions threatening devastating consequences for most vulnerable

Unite in the Community will protest outside benefits offices across Northern Ireland at noon tomorrow [March 30th]

March 29th: Albert Hewitt explained why his union’s community branches will be organising protests outside benefits offices across Northern Ireland, tomorrow [Thursday March 30th] at 12pm:

“Northern Ireland’s working class has, to date, largely escaped the full brunt of Tory ‘welfare reform’. With the Fresh Start agreement, this situation has changed. Despite the mitigation measures agreed as part of that agreement, the most vulnerable are being hard-hit by the range of punishing changes which are known as ‘benefits reform’.

“Across the UK, Unite’s community branches have led a campaign to highlight and expose the devastating consequences of benefits reform. Central to this package is a new brutal sanctions regime where even minor misdemeanours around application processes can lead to loss of benefits, for up to three years in the most serious cases. Continue reading

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One percent pay offer for healthcare workers woefully inadequate, completely fails to meet inflationary pressures

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Pay offer reinforces need for functioning and locally-accountable Executive

Northern Ireland health and social care workers paid the least of any UK region

March 28th: Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer with responsibility for the union’s workers in the Healthcare sector has blasted the latest pay recommendation made by the Independent Pay Body for UK NHS workers:

“This pay recommendation is woefully inadequate and the concerning thing is that this is likely now to form the baseline for pay offers made in all parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland.

“A one percent pay increase would be nothing less than an insult at a time when inflation has risen sharply as a result of the Brexit devaluation. The retail price inflation measure now stands at 3.2%, meaning that the independent pay body is recommending a 2.2% reduction in the standard of living of dedicated healthcare workers. With inflation set to rise even further in coming months this situation is only likely to get worse. Continue reading

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