IAC out of step with archaeological community in Ireland
November 13th: Unite, which organises commercial archaeologists in Ireland, today accused the Irish Archaeological Consultancy of what it termed a “union-busting agenda”. Unite is in dispute with IAC on foot of the company’s refusal to engage collectively with workers regarding a pay claim, either directly or under the auspices of the WRC. Workers at the company have held three 24-hour stoppages, most recently in Portmarnock last week. Responding to a statement issued today by IAC’s CEO Rob Lynch, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said it was now quite clear that the company’s aim is to prevent its workers organising collectively to improve their terms and conditions:
“IAC and their CEO Rob Lynch have treated their employees, and the state’s industrial relations machinery, with breath-taking contempt.
“By claiming today that they are not in dispute with their workers, but with Unite as the union representing those workers, Mr Lynch has not only revealed his union-busting agenda, but has also chosen to ignore an inconvenient truth: there is no difference between the workers and the union representing them. The workers are the union – and our members in IAC are determined that their right to negotiate collectively will be recognised.
“Our members voted to take industrial action as a last resort, and they will continue to ‘Dig4Decency’ until IAC treats its workers with respect and sits down with the union of their choice, Unite, to talk about the workers’ pay claim”.
Jean O’Dowd is chair of Unite’s Archaeological Branch and added:
“Mr Lynch’s blatant union-busting tactics have put him, and IAC, out of step with the entire archaeological community in Ireland. Last week the Institute of Archaeologists in Ireland called for the use of the state’s industrial relations mechanisms to resolve this dispute, pointing out that the WRC-facilitated agreement between Unite and Rubicon Heritage demonstrates that discussions can lead to positive outcomes for both employers and employees. That call has been echoed by Departments and Schools of Archaeology in University College Dublin, University College Cork, Queen’s University Belfast and Sligo Institute of Technology.
“It is unfortunate that Mr Lynch’s distaste for trade unions apparently outweighs the interests of his company and of the sector as a whole. IAC’s determination to go it alone is bad for the company, and bad for archaeology in Ireland”, Ms O’Dowd concluded.