Crane operators:  Unite members to ballot on proposed union agreement

unite-white-out-of-redProposal paves way for pay increases and other terms and conditions to be enshrined in Registered Employment Agreement

July 11th: Last night, at a general meeting of its crane operator membership, trade union Unite opened a ballot on a proposed agreement between Unite and Siptu regarding the representation of crane operators in the Republic of Ireland.  The proposed agreement also commits both unions to work for the early establishment of a Registered Employment Agreement for crane operators.

The proposed agreement, shaped between General Secretaries of both unions, follows protracted discussions on how crane operators can best be represented in the Irish construction sector.

It provides for independent validation of the numbers of crane operators who are members of each union or of both and also includes a mechanism for those workers who have duel union membership to choose which union they want to be a member of.

Under the proposal, an agreed individual will investigate, and make recommendations on, representation of General Operative grades across the construction sector.

Commenting on the proposals, Unite Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said that, while he welcomed the fact that the proposed agreement enshrines the fundamental principle that workers should be able to freely choose the union representing them, the final decision on whether or not to endorse the agreement would be made by the workers involved.

Mr Fitzgerald also noted that the resolution reached between the unions would pave the way for pay increases and other terms and conditions to become enshrined in law.

“This agreement is not about unions, but about crane operators – workers who are entitled to collective representation through the union of their choice.

“Balloting opened last night and will close on Monday July 16th.  If our members endorse this agreement, Unite will – as has always been our intention – work with others in the trade union movement to ensure that, at a time when the construction sector is rapidly expanding, all those working in the sector – including crane operators – share fully in the fruits of that success”, Tom Fitzgerald said.

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