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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Strike action at Balcas, Enniskillen ends as workforce votes overwhelmingly to accept vastly improved pay offer

Balcas celebration

Two year pay deal is worth more than one thousand pounds a worker in first year with guaranteed above-inflation pay increase in year two

First successful private-sector industrial action in Fermanagh in more than a decade has electrified workers in county and galvanised demand for fair pay

April 12th: Gareth Scott, Unite Regional Officer responsible for his union’s membership at Balcas Timber, congratulated the workforce and their shop stewards on a powerful two-day strike action which led to a substantially improved pay offer being made by management at the Fermanagh-based employer. In a ballot over the two shifts on site, a significantly improved pay offer was overwhelmingly accepted bringing the industrial action to an end.

“Balcas employees, whether working in the wood mills or handling timber work exceptionally hard in what can be a difficult and potentially dangerous job. That level of commitment was simply not reflected in the basic pay rate they received with some workers receiving significantly less than seven pounds an hour – a situation only sustained by the bonus system which ensured they didn’t fall below the current legal low pay limit of £8.21. Management had sought to make the workers carry the burden for the uplift in the statutory minimum wage by significant reductions to the system of bonus payments. Continue reading

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Unions at Bombardier to consult membership on industrial action as company’s global management announce latest redundancies blow in Northern Ireland


Bombardier announces a further 30-35 compulsory redundancies as part of jobs cull only a day after announcing up to forty voluntary redundancies

In response to workforce concerns, a consultative ballot of workforce on strike action has been agreed by Unite and GMB union reps to commence Monday April 29th.

April 9th: Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer responsible for her union’s members in Bombardier, challenged the company’s Montreal-based corporate management over their most recent job-losses announcement.

“Today’s announcement is only the latest instalment in a series of job losses at Bombardier operations in Northern Ireland. Workers across the sites reacted with sadness and indignation to the news that management are to seek a further between thirty and thirty-five compulsory redundancies in order to deliver their target of 490 job losses – part of a global jobs cull of 5,000 to slash $250 million from operating costs. The latest jobs blow comes only a day after the company confirmed up to forty voluntary redundancies; taken in conjunction with previous redundancies under the current round of jobs cuts and following years of large-scale workforce reductions, this marks a nadir for Bombardier’s employment in Northern Ireland. Continue reading

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