Confirmation of one-year System Support Services Agreement contract for Kilroot power station bittersweet news for AES workforce

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Decision confirms up to 80 AES redundancies and approximately 60 direct, full-time contractors to lose their positions as Ballylumford B will shut down early 

Need for state intervention to bring forward managed transition to renewable energy with training and guarantees for affected workers

November 9th: Davy Thompson, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer welcomed the news that Kilroot power station would be offered a one year System Support Services contract by SONI that would mean the jobs of more than 170 AES workers and more than 100 direct, full-time contractors would be safeguarded.

“This is a welcome announcement. Unite has fought hard for this commitment for many months now and it will bring some assurance to the more than 170 AES employees and the more than one hundred full-time onsite contractors whose positions will be safeguarded as a result. Our objective is now to ensure that this contract rolls-over for another year after the lapse period of this contract.

“At the same time, this is bittersweet news, as it confirms that up to eighty AES positions will be lost as Ballylumford B power station is closed. We are hopeful that the bulk of these losses will be achieved through voluntary redundancies across the sites but the fact remains that this is a potential eighty more jobs going from the Northern Ireland economy that won’t be there for the next generation of workers. Continue reading

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Two, day-long strike actions confirmed at Glen Dimplex as workforce doubles down for pay justice

img_0227Twenty-four hour strike actions confirmed to run from 7am on Friday November 16th and Monday November 19th

Billionaire owner Martin Naughton challenged on his group’s refusal to meet workers’ £8.75 Living wage pay claim

November 11th: Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald confirmed that two twenty-four hour strike actions would proceed at the Glen Dimplex group site in Portadown (GDC) on the Friday and Monday bracketing next weekend [Friday, November 16th and Monday, November 19th].

“Unite had hoped to resolve this dispute at the Labour Relations Agency yesterday but the Glen Dimplex bosses entered those talks with apparently no intention whatsoever of meeting the workers’ legitimate expectation for £8.75 an hour; which let us remember was the bare minimum for subsistence as calculated by the independent, UK-based Living Wage Foundation last year.

“Bosses are refusing to bridge the 27 pence an hour gap, despite an offer made by workers to make a contribution from the small bonus they’re paid for exceeding 100% targets. Management’s approach has left workers with no alternative but to escalate their strike action in the mouth of Christmas. We have today confirmed two, twenty-four hour stoppages next Friday  [November 16th] and Monday [November 19th]. Continue reading

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LRA-mediated talks with Glen Dimplex break down as management refuse staff a Living Wage

img_0227Union announces forty-eight hour strike action to be held in coming days as workforce escalates industrial action 

Glen Dimplex management refuse to move to end in-work poverty despite group profits of more than €38 million

November 8th: Production workers who manufacture ‘Quantum’ intelligent storage heaters for Glen Dimplex in Portadown will be forced to take another strike action after pay talks at the Labour Relations Agency broke down without making any progress. Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald confirmed that the union would be confirming a second strike action this time for forty-eight hours at the Portadown site.

“The Glen Dimplex bosses entered LRA-mediated talks with the clear intention of offering nothing meaningful to their workers, who continue to earn a bare £8.48 an hour; despite the fact that this company last year made €38 million in profits and provided a payment of almost €13 million to their owners through a holding company.  Continue reading

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Concerns that 5,000 Bombardier global jobs cull may once again cost Northern Ireland jobs

img_0227Latest redundancy plans come despite mounting profits as company attempts ‘fire-sale’ to meet financial market demands

Unite will engage with unions representing workers under threat in other countries to coordinate global trade union response

November 8th: This afternoon, Bombardier announced plans to cut a further five thousand jobs globally across all sections of the corporation. Unite Regional Coordinating Officer, Susan Fitzgerald, issued Unite’s response to this jobs threat.

“Today’s announcement by Bombardier that they are going to slash up to five thousand workers jobs is a brutal blow to their global workforce and will affect workers in both aerospace and transport divisions. Unite has sought assurances that none of these jobs will be going at any of the five sites here in Northern Ireland – as yet, we have no confirmation of what it this latest announcement will mean locally. Bombardier’s corporate management have also announced plans to sell off its turboprop programme and its business aircraft flight and training activities. Continue reading

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An estimated 80 AES job-losses and a further 60 contractor redundancies likely across Kilroot and Ballylumford power stations

img_0227Unite formally notified of more than 20 redundancies by AES but job-loss figure expected to rise sharply

Energy Regulator must intervene to allow SONI to offer ‘capacity contract’ quickly to avoid all 250 AES jobs being lost

November 8th: Despite being included in the 2018 All-island Generation Capacity Statement published last month by the System Operator for Northern Ireland (SONI), AES management have brought forward planned redundancies across Kilroot and Ballylumford B power stations as a result of the exclusion of generators at both sites from supply contracts under the current Integrated Single Electricity Market.

The exclusion from the contracts to supply has come about as a result of rules set by the Electricity Regulator and enforced by Irish-government owned SONI, which has responsibility for the management and operation of the transmission grid across the island of Ireland. The decision threatens to shut down 36 percent of Northern Ireland’s generating capacity and has been widely criticised as leaving the region dependent on imported electricity and vulnerable to blackouts post-Brexit.

Davy Thompson, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer spoke on the union’s fears for further job-losses at Kilroot and Ballylumford:

“Last week Unite was notified of the likelihood of just over twenty job-losses across Kilroot and Ballylumford; however we are preparing ourselves for that number to rise substantially. We understand that approximately eighty AES employees are likely to be made redundant in the near future. Unfortunately they won’t be the only ones affected, we are estimating the knock-on impact in terms of job-losses on that scale could include an additional 60 direct, full-time contractors who work on-site. These redundancies will come as devastating news for those workers’ families at this time of year. Continue reading

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