Protective ballots follow High Court decision to strike down SEOs
Employers warned to pay agreed increases or face industrial action
September 15th: Unite, which represents construction workers throughout Ireland, has announced that members have voted almost overwhelmingly to take industrial action if any employer in the sector seeks to reduce terms and conditions in the wake of June’s High Court decision striking down Sectoral Employment Orders.
The union was commenting on the results of a protective ballot of general construction workers which concluded yesterday (Monday) with 95% voting in favour of industrial action The ballot followed a ballot of mechanical members which concluded at the end of August with an even greater vote in favour of action. Commenting, Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:
“A pay increase agreed under the mechanical collective agreement was due to take effect on September 1st, while increases for all other construction workers are due to take effect on October 1st. Unite is monitoring the situation to ensure all employers adhere to the agreement.
“We have written to employers’ bodies rejecting their calls for a deferral of the increases, and we have informed them that any employer failing to implement the pay increases due to come into force today will be deemed to be in breach of negotiated agreements.
“For the past six weeks, members of Unite have been voting to decide whether they will take industrial action if any employers renege on the agreed pay increases, or hides behind the High Court decision in order to attack terms and conditions in any way.
“Those ballots have now concluded and our members voted overwhelmingly in favour of such action.
“Employers have a simple choice: they can either abide by all agreed terms and conditions, including scheduled pay increases, or they will face determined industrial action”, Mr Fitzgerald concluded,