Department of Health must nationalise Four Seasons nursing homes for benefit of staff and clients

Unite Conference 106

Three thousand five hundred workers and seventeen hundred vulnerable and elderly persons in Northern Ireland face threat as company enters administration

Questions must be asked about role of private sector in the provision of social care and how the NHS here became so dependent on one company in particular

Unite Regional Officer, Kevin McAdam, with special responsibility for his union’s membership in the health and social care sectors, demanded urgent intervention by the Department of Health to take over the operation of fifty-five nursing homes across Northern Ireland in light of news that owners, Four Seasons, had collapsed into administration.

“The news that Four Seasons has entered administration casts huge uncertainties over the future of fifty-five nursing homes that this company operates in Northern Ireland. Approximately three and a half thousand staff work in these homes who will be left fearful for their job security. More than seventeen hundred vulnerable and older clients, and their families, will also be left under a cloud of uncertainty about the future of their care provision. Continue reading

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Bombardier bosses agree union demand to end compulsory redundancies in face of industrial action ballot

148Company confirm that they will suspend all compulsory redundancies and those workers affected in the most recent round will be offered their jobs back.

Talks between unions and management on securing work and growth for Northern Ireland sites will now commence.

Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer responsible for her union’s members in Bombardier,

“Today’s announcement will come as very welcome news to the entire Bombardier workforce. Union shop stewards were due to begin balloting members to build for industrial action against compulsory redundancies. This significant reversal means that not only are compulsory redundancies now off the table but those who were targeted in the last round will now be offered their jobs back. This is great news for those workers and their families. It reflects the determination of the workforce to challenge the ongoing erosion of jobs and skills across the company sites in Northern Ireland”,  Ms Fitzgerald said.

Unite Assistant General Secretary, Steve Turner, welcomed the announcement that thirty-two workers who were made compulsorily redundant would be offered their old jobs back and confirmed that shop stewards in his union and the GMB had agreed to suspend a ballot on industrial action which was set to open today.

 “In recent meetings with the global corporate management, I have been raising the concerns of the workforce over mounting job losses and the recent round of compulsory redundancies. This announcement is great news for the workers affected and a tremendous win for the entire workforce; this success demonstrates the power of our unions when we stand together for jobs and skills.

“We now need to see delivery on the promises of growth that we have heard so many times from management. We need to see investment for jobs and growth and the ending of all off-shoring of work”,  Mr Turner said.

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Engineers at Dundonald International Ice Bowl to be balloted on industrial action in end of May

DMM1Industrial action likely to coincide with first Northern Ireland bowling open to be held in Dundonald in twelve years 

Blame for escalation lies squarely with approach of management in Lisburn & Castlereagh City council in pay equality talks

Davy McMurray, Unite Regional Officer responsible for his union’s membership at Dundonald International Ice Bowl has confirmed his union will be commencing a ballot on strike action likely to coincide with the forthcoming Northern Ireland Bowling Open at the venue.

“Through their dishonest stalling in pay talks, management in Lisburn & Castlereagh City council have left us with no alternative but to ballot our plant engineers in Dundonald International Ice Bowl for industrial action. The dispute centres around the demand of plant engineers for full pay equality with other engineers employed by Lisburn & Castlereagh City council. The union was promised that this issue would be resolved at the end of March but here we are at the end of April and there’s no sign of any serious engagement from management side whatsoever. Management’s approach to negotiations has left workers questioning whether they are serious about addressing the pay equality issue at all. Continue reading

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Dale Farm decision to close Fivemiletown Creamery is a blatant case of asset stripping leaving eighteen workers facing redundancy

Unite Conference 49

Decision to move production of some specialist Fivemiletown brand cheeses to other sites is driven by desire to maximise profit

Unite seeks further investment from Dale Farm to safeguard more than one hundred years of milk processing at the Fivemiletown site

April 26th: Liam Gallagher, Unite Regional Officer responsible for his union’s membership at Dale Farm voiced his union’s disgust at the decision of Dale Farm to end production at the former Fivemiletown creamery site in the Tyrone town.

 “Five years ago, Unite was central to efforts to ensure that specialist cheese production at the Fivemiletown Creamery’s site in the town was transferred as a going concern to Dale Farm. This transfer safeguarded production and the jobs of eighteen workers on site. Continue reading

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Moy Park strike ballot called by Unite in defence of workforce terms and conditions


Sean McKeever, Unite Regional Officer

Strike ballot of more than three thousand Unite members in largest Northern Ireland employer will proceed in coming weeks

April 15th: Sean McKeever, Unite Regional Officer representing Unite’s members at Moy Park sites across Northern Ireland confirmed that the union would be balloting members over unreasonable management demands in ongoing pay negotiations.

“When Moy Park was sold by Brazilian meat-packing giant JBS SA to one of its own subsidiaries, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp of the USA, Unite the union forecasted that this would presage a broader onslaught on workforce terms and conditions. Sadly the accuracy of that forecast is now apparent to every Moy Park worker in Northern Ireland. 

“From our first meetings with the incoming management team it was apparent that they were intent on attacking terms and conditions of workers in the region which remain among the best of any workforce in the UK agri-food industry. In recent pay negotiations they have brought forward proposals seeking to undermine Shift Allowances, Sickness scheme, Holiday entitlement, Attendance allowance, Nomi/Statutory days and decent breaks – T&Cs that were hard won by this workforce over many years and which are simply not up for negotiation.  Continue reading

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