Well-schooled in exploitation

Construction Demo 180714Well-schooled in exploitation: union protestors accuse Department of Education of helping sponsor ‘race to the bottom’ on school building projects

Unite members were among those protesting this morning (Friday July 18th) outside St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra and the Department of Education and Skills in Marlborough Street.

The Construction Group of Unions – which includes SIPTU, OPATSI, UCATT, BATU and the TEEU, as well as Unite – is protesting against what it terms a ‘race to the bottom’ on school building projects.

Commenting, Unite Organiser Rob Kelly said:

“Despite the fact that the Department has been informed of the abuse of workers on a range of school projects, they continue awarding contracts to companies engaged in a race to the bottom.

“Unions are aware – and have made the Department aware – of a range of abuses.

“Workers are being forced into a bogus self-employment: although clearly employees, they are officially self-employed and therefore lose a range of entitlements from pension cover to holiday pay.

“In some cases skilled tradespeople are earning as little as €250 per week. In other cases, workers have not been paid for a month.

“The unions demand is simple: instead of sponsoring a race to the bottom, the Department of Education must help lead a drive for Decent Work in the construction industry”, Rob Kelly concluded.


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