Worker's Rights

“Ten bar staff, employed by SSP in Dublin Airport are facing being made redundant in the coming weeks and being replaced by lower paid staff. SSP made a successful bid, overseen by the DAA for a bar space in Terminal One in February of this year.

“Under TUPE legislation it should have been understood by SSP that they were obliged to preserve the pay and conditions of the bar staff who worked for the previous holder of the contract. However in a matter of a short few months they are attempting to drive out the existing staff and replace them with ‘caterers’ who they allege have a different skills sets even thought the job description claims that experience is not necessary.

“I wrote to Mr Bill Twomey of the Dublin Airport Authority on 1st June about this matter and to date have not even had the decency of an acknowledgement. In the email (below) I point out the responsibility of the DAA in ensuring that successful bidders for bar and retail space be obliged to honour pay and conditions.

“I have pledged my support for the SSP workers and any action they take to support their jobs. I know that bar and retail staff in other companies in the Airport are watching events with great interest and are extremely supportive of their staff.”

Economy, Environment

United Left Alliance to present private members motion on building regulations in the Dáil today

Radical change needed to prevent future pyrite and fire hazard scandals

Major programme of remedial works initiated by the state but ultimately funded by developers and builders proposed

At today’s press conference address by the ULA TDs and Peter Lewis, chair of the Pyrite Action Group, Clare Daly TD said:

“The inspiration for this motion came from the work we have been engaged in alongside residents in estates built during the building boom. It has become clear that the light regulation approach in the financial sector was also the guiding philosophy of the previous government when it came to building regulations.

“The legacy of estates affected by pyrite and apartment complexes being evacuated because of inadequate fire prevention measures is an indictment on the construction sector but the political establishment over which the major builders and speculators wielded enormous influence.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said

“The shoddy building regulations that are obvious from scandals such as priory hall are just another example, if we needed one after the Mahon report, that Irish governments throughout the Celtic Tiger and before prioritised the interests of land speculators, developers and the construction industry above the interests of families and individuals. We need to see immediate action on the recommendations of the Mahon report and an end to lip-service from this government”

Joan Collins TD said

“The lack of regulation, that allows people to live in potential fire traps, pyrite riddled or mould and damp infested homes is simply unacceptable. There is a real need for government led investment in areas like Dolphin House, Priory Hall etc that will allow people to lead decent lives in decent homes. This state has been captured over the years by various vested interests such as the construction lobby, it is time that the Government stood up for the people instead of vested interests.

“This bill calls for proper regulation of building controls and I fully support it. We never want to see another Priory Hall or Dolphin House type scenario again. We also want to deal with those kind of situations now. The fact that this government still supports inadequate checks on the building sector is indicative of the lack of change we have had in this country.”

Joe Higgins TD said:

“The nightmare of being tied to 30 and 40 year mortgages is compounded for thousands of homeowners by the fact that their home is literally coming apart at the seams or in the case of Belmayne and Priory Hall is considered a fire trap.

“The motion calls on the government to take matter in hand by initiating a major programme of remedial works in all estates affected by the issues addressed in this motion. Initial funding must come from the exchequer to expedite matters but it is absolutely right that the builders and speculators should be chased so that the tax payer can recoup the cost from those who carry the greatest responsibility for this scandal.”

Economy

Government desperate to strike blows against mass non-payment of household tax in advance of water meter installation and property tax legislation

Responding to the reappearance of Minister Hogan after an absence that happened to coincide precisely with the duration of the fiscal compact referendum campaign as well as to the threats against non-payers of the Household Tax that have emanated from his office Socialist Party TD for Dublin North and United Left Alliance Environment and Local Government spokesperson Clare Daly said:

“Non payment of the household tax has remained solid since the passing of the government deadline on 31st March with negligible registrations since that time. Questions put to Minister Hogan reveal that around one tenth of 940,000 properties (representing half of the true government target figure of 1.85 million not 1.6 million as is falsely claimed by government and media elements) were multiple registrations which suggests that a decisive majority of liable individuals remain in the non-payment camp.

“The government recognise that the beginning of the septic tank registration process next month, water meter installation in October and the drafting of the legislation for the property tax later this year will all provide a fresh impetus to the CAHWT. Therefore the threat of ‘compliance letters’ to non paying households in the coming weeks and months should be seen as a desperate measure by the government to try diminish the scale of non-payment in order to dampen a storm of protest that will meet the upcoming measures which all point in the direction of household bills averaging €1,000 of which the campaign has correctly warned all along.

“As with the successful campaign against the water tax in the 1990s every piece of threatening correspondence and court action will be met with a round of public meetings, mass newsletter distribution and protests as well legal defence measures. Such will be the scale of revolt Minister Hogan will wish he stayed in hiding!”

Economy

United Left Alliance
Press Statement June 1 2012

ULA says people were bullied into accepting Austerity Treaty
Resistance to austerity will continue

In a statement today the ULA said the people were bullied into voting yes. The Government did not put up any good arguments in support of this treaty. They agreed a blackmail clause with the EU and then used it to bully the people. They said we had no choice even though they took an active part in agreeing to link the treaty with access to funding in the future. Many of those who voted yes did so reluctantly.

Despite the campaign of fear, huge numbers voted against the treaty. Across the country those most affected by austerity have said no and sent a message, particularly to Labour, that they have had enough of austerity. It is now clear that Labour’s way is Frankfurt’s way. Labour will continue to put the boot into ordinary people to pay for the debts of bankers and developers. Labour has no mandate from its supporters to implement austerity.

The ULA is confident that the resistance to austerity in Ireland and Europe will deepen in the next few months. The promise of government that the treaty will bring stability is false. There will be no stability. The treaty does not offer a way out of the economic crises. It will make it worse by institutionalising austerity across Europe.

We will continue to campaign and mobilise against austerity. We will continue to demand the scrapping of the Household Tax and other policies which impose the burden of bank debt on working people. The ULA will continue to offer a real alternative to the failed policies of austerity.