Unite says IAC attempting to sideline state industrial relations mechanisms
January 24th: Unite, which represents archaeologists working for the Irish Archaeological Consultancy, today (Thursday) expressed disappointment at the company’s failure to attend a Labour Court hearing this week into IAC’s refusal to recognise the union representing a substantial number of its employees. The hearing follows three 24-hour stoppages by archaeologists working for the company last year. The Labour Court is expected to issue its recommendation shortly.
Commenting, Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said the company has treated both its workers and the state’s industrial relations machinery with what he termed “breathtaking contempt”:
“IAC’s failure to appear at the Labour Court was preceded by a letter to employees in which the company’s CEO Rob Lynch not only announced their decision not to attend the hearing, but also made it clear that the company would ‘continue without a union’ regardless of any recommendation issued by the Labour Court.
“The breathtaking contempt with which they have treated not only their workers but the state’s industrial relations machinery is particularly ironic in view of the fact that the company benefits significantly from public contracts. It is also ironic that IAC avails of the benefits afforded by collective representation, through the employers’ organisation IBEC, but denies its workers those same benefits”, Richie Browne said.
Jean O’Dowd is Chair of Unite’s Archaeological Branch and added:
“As demonstrated by the WRC-facilitated agreement concluded last year between Unite and Rubicon Heritage, collective negotiations can have positive outcomes for both employees and employers. It is regrettable that Mr Lynch’s apparent distaste for trade unions seems to outweigh the interests of his company and of the sector as a whole. IAC’s determination to go it alone is bad for the company, bad for workers, and bad for Irish archaeology”, Ms O’Dowd concluded.