Crane operators striking today and tomorrow

unite-white-out-of-redEscalation comes against background of continuing CIF non-engagement

August 10th: Unite, which represents over 90% of crane operators in Ireland, has said that a nationwide strike of crane operators is taking place today (Thursday) and tomorrow.  The decision to escalate the dispute was taken earlier this week by the Unite Crane Operators’ Committee and reflects growing frustration at the ongoing refusal by the Construction Industry Federation to engage meaningfully with Unite in respect of members’ legitimate pay demands.

Pickets are ongoing at key Dublin sites today, and will be placed at sites in Dublin and Wexford tomorrow.

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Crane dispute: Unite warns further escalation on the cards

unite-white-out-of-redCrane operators frustrated at lack of meaningful engagement 

Nationwide stoppage marks fourth day of industrial action

August 4th: Unite, which represents over 90% of crane operators in Ireland, today warned that the dispute could escalate in the absence of meaningful engagement by the Construction Industry Federation.  Today’s nationwide stoppage marked the fourth day of industrial action in the dispute.

Speaking on a picket line in Ballsbridge this morning, Unite Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald said:

“Today’s solid picket again illustrated our members’ determination to secure wage rates which accurately reflect not only their skills and levels of responsibility, but also the recovery in the construction sector.

“Crane operators are frustrated at the lack of meaningful engagement from the Construction Industry Federation, and there is a very real danger that this dispute could escalate further.

“A resolution of this dispute is in the CIF’s hands.  They owe it to their own members to sit down and engage constructively and collectively with us”, Tom Fitzgerald said.

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English Language Teaching: Industry body admits poverty pay

unite-white-out-of-redUnite challenges MEI on low wages

August 3rd:  Unite, which organises English Language Teachers, today challenged Marketing English in Ireland, the body representing English Language Schools, to defend the low wages paid to teachers.  The call follows an analysis of the Institute’s own data revealing that many workers in the sector end up earning less than the Living Wage of €11.70 per hour.

Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said:

“Unite has long argued that the English Language Teaching sector is thriving on the backs of workers, and now we find that the industry body, Marketing English in Ireland, has essentially admitted poverty pay rates.

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NI-based charity refusing to engage with Unite in Republic

unite-white-out-of-redUnion organises 70% of workers in youth charity

Extern ‘forum’ designed avoid union recognition

July 30th: Unite has today accused leading youth charity Extern – which receives state funding from the HSE and TUSLA among others – of discriminating against employees in the Republic. The claim follows the repeated refusal by the Northern Ireland-based charity to recognise Unite, which represents 70% of Extern’s employees in the Republic of Ireland, or attend mediation at the Workplace Relations Commission. Instead, the charity is attempting to establish a so-called ‘consultative forum’ in what Unite views as an attempt to avoid negotiating with employees through the union of their choice.

Extern works with young people at risk, and in the words of its mission statement strives for an inclusive and fair society.

Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey pointed out that Extern recognises NIPSA in Northern Ireland and that their refusal to negotiate collectively with employees in the Republic amounts to blatant discrimination:

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Belfast City Council workers must not be collateral damage in bonfire dispute

unite-white-out-of-redWorkers have the right not to be dragged into divisive disputes over bonfires

Resolution to bonfires concerns must be delivered on inclusive basis

July 28th: Jackie Pollock, Deputy Regional Secretary for Unite, urged political leaders on Belfast City Council to consider the impact on front-line workers of their decisions on dealing with bonfires.

“In the past workers have been exposed to the political fallout over decisions taken by council management over bonfires. These decisions have been made over the heads of workers but have resulted in them being asked to take actions leaving them exposed to criticism and abuse. Continue reading

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