Worker's Rights

Catering giant SSP condemned for its attempt to initiate spurious redundancies of bar workers in Dublin Airport

Responding to efforts by SSP to drive experienced bar staff out of their jobs in Dublin Airport Clare Daly TD said:

“The company have had a clear agenda of driving down wage costs by the crudest of means. The company originally sought to replace 10 bar staff with 10 catering staff on wages of €9.40 per hour. The SIPTU members were told that the catering staff they wanted would have a ‘different skill set’ yet the job description claimed that experience was inessential.

“On the basis of challenging the company on this point they scrapped the recruitment process and instead embarked on a review process over the last number of days which involved rating the bar staff on the jobs that have already been doing with a required pass rate of 80%. Despite misgivings the workers participated in this process and on the basis of a number of them allegedly ‘failing’ redundancy notices have been issued.

“One worker challenged the examiners to describe the job he was doing that they were rating him on and being unable to do so they suspended the process.

“It seems clear to me that the companies efforts to spuriously select workers for redundancy needs to be vigorously challenged. The fact that members engaged in this phoney rating process and some have passed and been given the impression that their jobs are safe poses a very divisive scenario that SIPTU should not have allowed to emerge in my view.

“I gather a meeting for members has been organised for today. On the basis of the conversations I have had I detect a strong mood for action to defend jobs and conditions. I will publiclly support these workers and strongly encourage SIPTU to take every necessary step to back them up in their efforts to save their jobs including strike action”

Economy, Worker's Rights

Press Statement

“Hands Off Aer Lingus !” – says Daly

” Ryanair stunt should be vigorously opposed!”

” Any attempt by Ryanair to purchase Aer Lingus, should be vigorously opposed by the workforce. The government should take note and decisively reject this stunt,” said Socialist Party TD Clare Daly.

Deputy Daly was responding to Ryanair’s announcement of an attempted take-over of the airline with an offer of €1.30 per share. She said, “The government has to take full responsibility for this situation. Ryanair is cynically using the government’s announcement of its intention to sell its 25% shareholding in an attempt to drive up the price of Ryanair’s shares. It is clear that nothing else has changed. This move which would give Ryanair a virtual monopoly on air transport to and from Ireland, will again be rejected by the competition authorities. The real agenda seems to be improving their share price, probably with a view to selling their existing stock.”

“The lesson should be clear. Aer Lingus has almost €1 billion in cash reserves, not to mind all its other assets and potential. This is one of the oldest companies in Ireland, providing relatively decent secure, permanent pensionable employment to thousands, an excellent service and connectivity to Europe and the United States from both east and west of Ireland. Any further sell off of government shares should be halted as an extremely short sighted move, which would deliver a small amount of cash, which would be more than offset by the threat to jobs and service in the future.”

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.”