18 September 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Aer Lingus plans to outsource workers

AER LINGUS plans to outsource workers emerged this week alongside an announcement that management will not use any “third party mediators” to reach agreement in changes to work practices and pay rates as part of the company’s latest cost-cutting initiatives.
Aer Lingus plans to outsource 1,300 ground staff at Irish airports and is considering outsourcing cabin crew who work on United States routes after management studied how budget US airlines operate. Financial management of Aer Lingus has recently been taken over by a former manager of the anti-trade union airline, Ryanair.
Aer Lingus management has already began negotiations with Shannon Airport to outsource ground staff, including baggage handlers, caterers, check-in staff, loaders and staff working in the cargo terminals. 


‘Minister should resign,’ say civil servants

THE Civil and Public Services Union in the 26 Counties has called for Trade Minister John McGuinness to withdraw comments made in a Sunday newspaper article about public sector workers.
The Fianna Fáil minister compared public servants to “plump hens in golden cages”. He also said that the civil service is “now so protected by its unions that it has largely become a reactionary, inert mass at the centre of our economy” and that it “destroys ambition, resists change, and is now so insulated from reality that information can be withheld from a minister”.
The CPSU described the comments as “wholly unjust and unacceptable” and said he should retract, resign or be sacked.


Nurses protest over working hours

MEMBERS of the Irish Nurses’ Organisation (INO) held protests at hospitals in the north-east this week over the length of their working week.
The protests were held in Dundalk, Drogheda and Navan as a result of hospital management refusing to reduce the working week for nurses and midwives to 37.5 hours as was agreed in 2007 by the Health Services Executive.
INO Industrial Relations Officer Albert Murphy said:
“The failure of local and regional management to implement this entitlement is causing anger and frustration among our members. Nurses and midwives in these hospitals are looking at their colleagues in hospitals around the country who are already enjoying a shorter working week which came about after the national nurses’ dispute of 2007.”
Speaking at the protest in Drogheda, Sinn Féin Councillor Matthew Coogan said:
“Management has failed to implement the agreed 37.5 hour working week for all nurses and midwives across the state. Sinn Féin is fully supporting the nurses in their protest actions. HSE managers have made a commitment to introducing a reduced week and yet have refused to implement it. The agreed reduction should be implemented without delay.”


More job losses in Waterford

SINN FÉIN Waterford Councillor David Cullinane said this week that the massive continued job losses in the area were more evidence of Government inability to tackle unemployment and create new jobs.
Reacting to the announcement of at least 50 more redundancies at the Honeywell plant in Waterford, Cullinane said the Government needs to remove its head from the sand and deliver for Waterford City and County.
He said the news of these job losses, coupled with the uncertainty at Waterford Crystal and Cappoquin Chickens, is extremely worrying.
“Waterford and the south-east region have one of the highest unemployment levels in the country. There is absolutely no doubt that when it comes to regional development the south-east was left behind. The Government has not delivered for Waterford as a Gateway City.”


TEEU lobbies against Laval judgment

GENERAL Secretary designate of the TEEU Eamon Devoy joined trade unionists from across Europe in a meeting with EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimir Spidla this week to seek the annulment of recent European Court of Justice decisions in the Laval, Viking, Ruffert and Luxemburg cases.
The trade unionists told the commissioner that the court’s decisions have undermined workers’ rights and conditions of employment across the EU and have allowed businesses to import cheap non-union labour to carry out both public and private contracts.


BATU members ordered to leave offices

THE High Court in Dublin this week ordered members of the Building and Allied Trade Unions to leave their union headquarters where they had been staging a sit-in protest. The trade unionists had also constructed a brick wall at the entrance and were ordered to remove it.
The dispute is between employees and members of the union and management over union finance issues and compulsory redundancies for staff.
Members of BATU are now demanding the resignation of the general secretary of the trade union, Padraig O’Shaughnessy.
The workers employed by BATU who are on strike over the dispute are being represented by the Unite trade union.

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