Union slams Minister’s ‘double standards’ on union recognition
Minister again asked to meet with Extern workers
March 12th: Unite, which represents staff working for social care provider Extern, today slammed what it termed Minister Katherine Zappone’s ‘double standards’ regarding union recognition. Extern, which enjoys significant state contracts including contracts worth nearly €5 million from Tusla, refuses to negotiate collectively with its employees through their union, Unite.
Pointing out that Minister Zappone is on record saying that if she were a childcare worker she would join a union, and encouraging employers in the childcare sector to go to the Labour Court and negotiate, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey called on the Minister to show the same concern for the conditions of those providing other forms of social care. He also repeated Unite’s request for the Minister to meet with Extern staff to discuss their concerns.
“Unite is extremely disappointed at Minister Zappone’s apparent double standards when it comes to trade union rights for workers providing care under the aegis of her department.
“Extern is an anti-union employer which enjoys significant state contracts but refuses not only to recognise a union, but also to engage at the WRC.
“It is unacceptable that an organisation should refuse to abide by industrial relations norms or to engage with the state’s industrial relations machinery on the one hand, while benefiting from state contracts on the other hand.
“Minister Zappone’s department has awarded contracts worth nearly €5 million to Extern through Tusla, but the Minister has refused to meet Extern workers to discuss their concerns. Unite is now again asking the Minister to meet with our members, and to show the same concern for Extern workers that she has demonstrated for childcare workers by publicly calling on Extern to recognise the union of their employees’ choice, Unite, and to engage at the WRC”, Mr Hassey said.