2 October 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Union campaign for exploited airport workers

Union campaign for exploited airport workers
SIPTU has begun a campaign aimed at workers in the Dublin Airport Authority who are said to be exploited and barely able to live on their wages.
As part of the union’s ‘Justice’ campaign, SIPTU is seeking to raise awareness of pay disparity among airport workers and secure a registered employment agreement that would enforce minimum standards for workers employed in the aviation industry.
The theme of the campaign itself is ‘Justice – Join  a Union, Stick Together and Improve Contracts of Employment’.
The union’s aviation sector organiser, Dermot O’Loughlin, says that workers in unionised employment on average earn far greater benefits than those in non-unionised positions, with unionised employees in Aer Lingus, Aviance and Servisair earning between 17 per cent and 28 per cent more in basic pay than workers in comparable employment without union representation.
The trade union say that many of the workers are on minimum wage short-term contracts and that they are forced to work overtime and have holidays cancelled without any notice.


Drogheda Independent newspaper staff to strike

STAFF at the Drogheda Independent group of newspapers, owned by Independent News and Media, have voted in favour of striking after five female administration and sales workers were made redundant or placed on a three-day week.
The workers are members of the Unite trade union and are due to strike during the next week, which may see the Drogheda Independent, Dundalk Argus and the Fingal Independent going unpublished during the first week of October.
Unite trade union has said that the workers, who have 70 years’ experience between them,  were called to a meeting by management of the group and told that two were to be made redundant while the others were to have their working week reduced by 40 per cent but that they should make themselves available for five days a week as cover and would receive no compensation unless they were called in. The company has said that the proposed action was taken due to the “economic downturn”.


Dunnes staff have hours cut

STAFF employed by Dunnes Stores have had their weekly hours cut by as much as a half, which has resulted in earnings of only €150 for some employees. This is less than they would receive from the state if they were unemployed.
The retail workers’ trade union, Mandate, has said that the chain-store is exploiting the flexible nature of the contracts that only entitle workers to 15 hours of work a week. Dunnes Stores are refusing to design work rosters that will allocate the 15 hours of work into three days or less, which is preventing staff from claiming unemployment benefit. It is believed that Mandate is seeking changes to contracts rather than rosters at the moment.

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