Public procurement: Workers’ rights must be included in any review

unite-white-out-of-redRogue employers must be precluded from tendering

Unite today (Wednesday) welcomed news that the State is to examine whether companies are submitting unrealistically low bids to win public contracts, but said that any review must also look at companies’ employment practices.  Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne pointed out that public contracts are regularly awarded to companies which refuse to engage collectively with their workers or with the State’s industrial relations machinery.

“At the end of 2017, outsourcing giant Capita – 40% of whose clients are in the public sector – refused to implement a Labour Court recommendation relating to redundancy.

“Just two weeks ago, the Irish Archaeological Consultancy – which is in receipt of considerable public contracts – refused to attend a Labour Court hearing, indicating beforehand that they would disregard any recommendation issued by the Court.

“Given that 95% of Labour Court recommendations are implemented by employers, the small minority of rogue companies which refuse to do so should be automatically precluded from tendering for public contracts.

“Those companies which regard the state as a never-ending source of lucrative contracts while refusing to abide by the state’s industrial relations machinery should have the contract stream turned off”, Richie Browne concluded.

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