Continuing influx of union members a sign of growing staff anxiety as company ditches decades of consultation
November 19th: Trade union Unite today warned that insurance giant Irish Life is forcing an escalation in the ongoing dispute due to its persistent refusal to attend the Labour Court in respect of all its employees and continuing imposition of a new pay model without agreement. The warning came as nearly 1,200 members prepared to ‘swipe out’ and down tools for a third two-hour stoppage.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Maeve Brehony said:
“Irish Life has effectively ditched decades of consultation by seeking to unilaterally impose an inferior and insecure pay model while refusing to attend the Labour Court in respect of all its employees.
“The overwhelming vote for industrial action earlier this year was an indication of our members’ frustration at Irish Life’s decision to ditch decades of consultation and negotiation, and instead unilaterally impose an inferior pay model which breaks the link between pay and profits, and between pay and inflation. The growing anxiety of Irish Life staff is reflected in the continuing influx of applications to join Unite.
“Irish Life has the means to resolve this dispute. They simply need to give an unequivocal assurance that they will attend the Labour Court in respect of all 1,189 Unite members, and negotiate rather than dictate the future pay structure.
“I would remind Irish Life that they have attended the Labour Court in respect of all their staff as recently as last year, so their refusal to do so now is quite inexplicable.
“As members prepare to down tools for a third time, ‘swiping out’ today between noon and 2 pm, Irish Life’s refusal to engage meaningfully with workers and their representatives is forcing an escalation of this dispute”, Ms Brehony warned.