22 March 2007 Edition
Nuacht na nOibrithe
EU Public Services Campaign Launched
IMPACT this week launched a campaign to get Ireland’s support to protect public services across Europe. Ireland’s largest public sector union is heading the Irish wing of the international campaign against privatisation. It will be to lobby for legislation to be initiated in national parliaments to aid governments in maintaining quality standards rather than going for privatisation. There was no public demand to privatise Aer Lingus or Eircom, or break up Aer Rianta and these events came solely as a result of EU free market rules that determine the quality of service provided by governments.
Staff at Leibharr crane plant strike in Killarney
Staff in Killarney’s Leibharr crane plant had a 24-hour work stoppage on Tuesday as a result of the company’s rejection of the Labour Court’s recommendations on the staff pension scheme. Management have warned the 450 staff members on the payroll that they will be putting their jobs in danger if they take any further industrial action. The dispute began in 2004 when the company announced that it was closing its Defined Benefit Pension scheme to new staff members. Siptu representative Daniel Tobin has said they plan to have a further series of 24 hour work stoppages, “The decision to close the Definied Benefit Pension will have serious repercussions for its new employees as the pension is an integral part of the employees pay. There will be further industrial action if this issue is not resolved.”
Crew on Panamian registered vessel refuse to leave Belfast
In yet another row over pay and conditions on a ship in Irish waters, the crew of a Panamian registered vessel are refusing to sail from Belfast. The crew aboard the “Naxos” are from the Phillipines and have claimed that the ship leaks in heavy seas. Port authorities in Belfast will inspect the ship this week. Ken Fleming, a representative of both Siptu and the ITF has said that the ship will not sail until “all grievances were addressed and anybody wishing to be repatriated is allowed to go home.” He further claimed that there were serious pay arrears for the crew on the Korean owned ship with some workers being paid as little as $180 US Dollars for up to 300 hours work.