March 5th: Unite today (Thursday) wrote to the Workplace Relations Commission seeking that the strike with service provider Momentum at University Hospital Waterford be referred to the Labour Court. The dispute is in its tenth day following the decision of Momentum to unilaterally change the working conditions of Unite members working at the hospital.
Separately, Unite has also written to Solicitors acting for the HSE pointing out its obligations under the HSE Procurement Supplier Charter to ensure that its suppliers comply with their legal and contractual obligations.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly said:
“Momentum, in its dreadful treatment of our members, caused this dispute in an essential service. Unite members provide essential services to patients every day of their working lives, and we continue to do so in this situation. However our members’ commitment to patient care cannot be used to justify unilateral changes to our members’ working conditions. The Labour Court should now address this issue and we are committed to working with the Court to help them do so”.
Regional Co-Ordinating Officer Richie Browne added:
‘The HSE approach to this dispute has been most unhelpful. Not only are they failing to ensure their service providers behave properly, but they have attempted to blame the very workers who care for patients for a dispute not of their making. That is just wrong. Unite will resolutely defend its members against such practices as those unilaterally imposed by Momentum and we hope that common sense will now apply and that decency for all Unite members working at UHW will be restored”, Mr Browne said.