Support offered for solidarity protest called by Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions in defence of Encirc workers this Saturday [19th May] 11am at Encirc factory gates
Two workers had their arms crushed working with same piece of equipment – the first of whom has been dismissed by Encirc management due to his inability to work
May 17th: Unite Regional Officer, Michael Keenan, urged trade unionists to support the rally called by Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions to protest the sacking of a Unite Health & Safety rep who was injured at work only five months previously.
“Unite had hoped that new owners, Vidrala, would adopt a more progressive attitude to its workforce than that previously at the workplace; unfortunately today’s action by the bosses demonstrates the utter contempt in which they hold their employees.
“A number of workers have suffered injury at Encirc in the last six months – all with the same piece of equipment.
“The circumstances of the injury suffered by the worker who was dismissed today speak for themselves. When our convenor at the site had his arm seized and crushed by a piece of machinery, our Health & Safety rep who works on the line raced to his aid, staying with him until he was placed on an ambulance. Later on the same day the Health & Safety rep himself had to be rushed to A&E after having his arm crushed in the very same way with the same equipment.
“Both men were mechanically assaulted at their place of work through no fault of their own. Both men were lucky to have not lost limbs in the accident but now five months later both men’s employment is threatened over their inability to work as a result.
“Unite has raised a range of health and safety concerns at a workplace – in coming days and weeks we will be redoubling our efforts to bring basic levels of health and safety and respect for workers to this corner of Northern Ireland.
“We urge trade unionists to support Fermanagh trade’s council’s solidarity protest this Saturday at the factory gates. For our part, Unite is now launching a consultative ballot by text of our members while we take the steps for a formal ballot on strike action. An injury to one is an injury to all – we will not rest until we secure justice for this workplace rep”, Mr Keenan said.