17 September 2009 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe By Brendan Kerr

High Court bars shaming scab dockers

THE Dublin High Court has granted an injunction restraining SIPTU and the Irish Congress of Trade Union from distributing flyers naming and shaming strike-breaking scabs at the Marine Terminal facility in Dublin Port.
SIPTU members at the port handling company have been on strike for the last 10 weeks in a dispute over planned redundancies and unilateral changes in work practices.
Mr Justice Feeney ruled that workers were entitled to use “strong language”, including the word “scab”, during protests outside the company’s gates but he threatened unions about the consequences of any escalation of the dispute, which has won widespread community support in East Wall and Ringsend, traditional dock workers’ areas on both sides of the Liffey.


Drastic cuts at Monaghan turkey plant

CLONES Sinn Féin Councillor Pat Treanor has called on management at Grove Turkeys to explain the drastic cut in pay and conditions of workers employed at their Smithboro’ plant in County Monaghan.
Accusing some employers in the country of using the economic downturn to strip workers of hard-won conditions and pay, Cllr Treanor says that he has been contacted by former Grove workers who have been offered minimum rates of pay and contract employment just two weeks after these same workers received their redundancy payments.
Workers are being left with no option but to accept employment on these reduced terms, Cllr Treanor said.
“The practice of stripping workers of their hard-won conditions and pay must be challenged and reversed,” the Sinn Féin councillor said.


Marble City rocked by print axe

THE British-owned Johnston Press has announced its printing presses in Kilkenny City are to stop running, causing the loss of 46 jobs.
The facility prints a number of titles including The Kilkenny People, The Nationalist in Clonmel and The Tipperary Star.
The work is being moved from Kilkenny to presses in Limerick and Portadown. Johnston bought the plant four years ago.
Unite Regional Officer Billy Kyne said staff and the union were shocked by the news after a tradition of 100 years of printing at the plant.
“This decision is a hammer blow to the city, which only days ago was riding high.
“We will be fighting to get the best terms possible for one of the most loyal and longstanding group of workers in the country.”


Construction downturn closes store

THE downturn in the construction industry is being cited for the closure in Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s home county of Offaly of JP Corry Hardware in Tullamore and 11 jobs gone.
The company will close in five to six weeks’ time.
 SIPTU Branch Organiser Frank Jones said:
“The news came out of the blue.
“SIPTU is acutely aware of the dire situation facing suppliers to the construction sector, however, while we recognised that some of our members’ jobs were at risk, we did not envisage a complete closure of the store.
“These people are the latest victims of the climate of uncertainty in the construction sector.”

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