Right to Strike: Unite vows that High Court ruling will not silence workers fighting for fair pay

Unite examining all options including appeal

Union determined to secure pay increase for mechanical workers

23 March: Trade union Unite, which represents workers throughout Ireland, stated today (Thursday) that it is considering an appeal of this morning’s High Court ruling granting mechanical engineering firm Jones Engineering (HA O’Neil) an injunction pending trial to prevent strike action proceeding on 31 March. 

Commenting in the wake of today’s High Court ruling, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:  “This totally unacceptable and highly questionable ruling looks like an attempt to prevent workers in Ireland from taking industrial action in pursuit of legitimate aims. But the High Court will not succeed in silencing workers fighting for fair pay.

“Unite is examining all options for an appeal, up to and including the European courts, and we stand ready to defend our members against any and all attacks.”

Tom Fitzgerald is Unite regional coordinating officer and added: “Unite members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in order to pursue a pay rise from an employer who can easily afford to pay fairly.  By granting Jones Engineering an injunction, the High Court is undermining lawful action.

“This ruling is an attack on the fundamental human right to strike.  Just this week, the European Committee of Social Rights found Ireland to be in breach of the European Social Charter in respect of workers’ rights, including the right to strike. 

“Unite is taking legal advice and examining all options for appealing this ruling, including taking our case to Europe.

“But Unite will not wait for this case to wind its way through the courts.  Unite will continue to fight to secure our members the fair wage rise they deserve.  It is unacceptable that many construction workers – like other workers throughout Ireland – are not earning enough to be able to afford to buy the houses they build.”

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