Dept of Education accused of turning blind eye to abuses
September 19th: Trade union Unite will be placing pickets on JJ Rhatigan sites from this morning. The move follows a ballot of Unite members working on the Rhatigan construction site at Kishoge Community College in Lucan.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:
“Our members have been left with no choice but to take industrial action in order to secure decent terms and conditions. Workers on Rhatigan’s Kishoge site have been forced into bogus self-employment, with some earning less than €5 per hour – below the statutory Minimum Wage.
“They have not been paid in over four weeks and have now been locked out of their jobs after asserting their rights.
“JJ Rhatigan is the main contractor on a range of school building projects. The Department of Education has a responsibility to ensure that contractors comply with the spirit as well as the letter of our employment laws. We are calling on the Department to stop turning a blind eye to abuses and conduct an urgent review of its compliance system to ensure that the kind of behaviour Unite has witnessed in Kishoge cannot occur on school building projects.
“JJ Rhatigan’s employment practices are driving down terms and conditions in the construction sector as a whole and cannot be tolerated by the trade union movement”, Tom Fitzgerald concluded.