Construction: Unite writes to Taoiseach seeking site closure to help halt spread of COVID-19
Union says social distancing and hygiene measures cannot be observed
Letter calls for workers’ incomes to be protected
Trade union Unite, which represents construction workers throughout Ireland, has written to the Taoiseach asking for the Government to close non-essential construction sites as a matter of urgency in order to help halt the spread of COVID-19.
The letter, which is available here, explains the impossibility of adhering to social distancing and hygiene requirements on sites. Urging that workers’ net take-home pay be protected in the event of closure, the union outlines what it considers to be essential works, including works relating to health and pharmaceutical facilities or similar connected with the current crisis, as well as works connected with the maintenance of essential utilities and emergency assistance to households.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald said:
“The failure to close non-essential construction sites is undermining the Government’s public health strategy. Over 150,000 workers are continuing to travel to sites where they are unable to observe basic hygiene and social distancing requirements – thus not only risking their own health, but also potentially transmitting the virus to their own communities.
“The risk increases with every day that these sites remain open. Unite is calling on the Government to do the right thing, shut the sites now and protect workers’ incomes”, Mr Fitzgerald concluded.