éirígí supports protesting workers in Ballyfermot

éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan has expressed the socialist republican party’s support and solidarity with the protesting workers at Tipperary Water’s distribution plant in Cherry Orchard.

Workers at the plant, who began a protest their at 9am on Monday, 24 September say they have been forced into redundancy for joining a trade union and organising against attacks on their pay and conditions.

Despite recording profits of 4.7 million euro in 2011 and 4.5 million euro in 2010, the company has imposed pay cuts of 8% over the last three years. The company has also been attacking working conditions at the plant by forcing staff into redundancy only to replace them with temporary workers.

SIPTU member Dave Whelan, a former shop steward at the plant, said “Over the last few years the management had been making deductions and cuts to our wages, saying the company was losing money.”

He explained that a group of workers got organised and joined SIPTU in an effort to begin negotiations with management in relation to wages and conditions.  As a result, he said, “About four weeks ago, of 17 members of SIPTU 13 were made redundant.”

Three of these redundancies were voluntary, while the remaining ten were forced by the company which stated that the workers were not suitably skilled. The company then took on ten temporary workers within days of the redundancies.

Mr Whelan has also exposed the company’s refusal to recognise the workers’ trade union, SIPTU. Speaking on their attempts at negotiations, he said, “Management just wouldn’t engage with SIPTU, just ignored SIPTU. I have no doubt in my mind that the reason we were sacked was because we joined SIPTU.”

Speaking from Ballyfermot, Cllr Louise Minihan of éirígí said, “This is a clear-cut case of a company driven by greed using the recession to attack the wages and conditions of workers. The carry on of Tipperary Water at the distribution plant in Cherry Orchard is both outrageous and inexcusable. Their refusal to recognise a trade union and to sack workers for organising in defence of their rights and entitlements is a throwback to the dark days of William Martin Murphy and the 1913 lockout.”

Minihan continued, “I would call on the people of Ballyfermot, Cherry Orchard and the surrounding areas to support the protesting workers as they take a stand in defence of pay and conditions. All attacks on the conditions of the working class must be resisted and solidarity is our greatest weapon.

“In the coming months and years the working class must come together and take a stand against the savage attacks on workers’ rights and our living conditions and confront the Government austerity agenda. In the words of the great trade union leader Jim Larkin ‘an injury to one is the concern of all’.”

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Posted on September 26, 2012, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, éirígí, Economy and workers' resistance, Irish politics today, Jim Larkin, Public events - Ireland, Social conditions, Trade unions, twenty-six counties. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on éirígí supports protesting workers in Ballyfermot.

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