22 April 2010 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

ICTU urges no pay cuts for staff stranded by volcano fall-out

EMPLOYERS have been urged by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to be sympathetic to the plight of employees who have been unable to travel and are missing from work as a result and not to dock them pay.
Congress Legislation Officer Esther Lynch said:
“Docking wages is a harsh reaction and it will put even more pressure on workers who may have incurred significant and unexpected costs as they try to find alternative ways to get home.
“Congress is also urging employers not to penalise people by putting pressure on them to use up what is left of their annual leave. We saw this happening earlier in the year, when workers absent due to the extreme weather were put under pressure to use up their annual leave.”
“Employees away on business are entitled to be paid as normal, she added.
“Employers can request that the employee continue to work during the period they are stranded as it is likely they will have access to facilities to do this – but the employer must meet the cost.”
ICTU says that employers would not be able to justify sacking workers who are stranded, even if they are unable to return to Ireland for a matter of weeks. ICTU advised employees to contact their employer as soon as feasible and if they had any concerns to make immediate contact with their union.



Croke Park verdict not expected till mid-May at least

THE Irish Congress of Trade Unions does not expect rank and file trade unionists to have delivered their verdict on the public sector pay deal offered by the Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government at the Croke Park talks last month before mid-May and maybe even later.
After unions have balloted members, the results will be brought to ICTU’s Public Services Committee and each union’s return will be weighted to avoid the largest unions swamping the verdict by force of numbers in a straight majority vote.
Meanwhile, the IMPACT trade union has delayed its ballot until it receives clarification of aspects of the proposed deal.
The union was contacting Kieran Mulvey, who brokered the agreement with colleagues from the Labour Relations Commission last month, to explore the best way to seek clarifications.

A statement from the union said the IMPACT Executive remains of the view that it cannot recommend the existing proposals as they do not provide the certainty that its members had sought over pay, pensions and job security.
A spokesperson said that the Executive had decided that its members should have maximum information and clarity before being asked to vote on the package.
An IMPACT spokesperson said:
“The IMPACT CEC remains committed to a negotiated settlement. But the lack of clarity over certain aspects of the proposed deal remains problematic. The experience of last December, when the Government walked away from an agreement, has damaged confidence in the industrial relations process.
“Union officials will now seek certain clarifications and, if they are forthcoming, will bring them back to the IMPACT Executive before the proposals are put to ballot.”


Saving Quinn Insurance jobs is priority, says Mary Lou as she meets workers

MARY LOU McDONALD met Quinn Insurance workers in Blanchardstown on Monday evening and the Sinn Féin vice-president said the administration process at the company must prioritise the maintenance of jobs and their viability into the future.
“Quinn Insurance and the Quinn group in general are major employers in Ireland. We are currently in the midst of a jobs crisis and the Government has its head in the sand on the issue,” she said.
“We cannot afford any more job losses and therefore the administration process at Quinn Insurance must prioritise the maintenance of jobs and their viability into the future.
“There is huge dependence on this employment, not least here in Blanchardstown, where other opportunities are so limited.”
She insisted that the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation need to keep closely in touch with this situation.

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1

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