13 October 2005 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe


121 jobs threatened in Antrim

More Irish manufacturing jobs are threatened with the announcement by British Textile Manufacturing in Ballymoney, County Antrim, that it faces closure with the loss of 121 jobs.

The knitwear firm, which has been operating for 40 years, is to engage in a 90-day consultation process with workers following the decision of its main customer to go elsewhere. Managing director Robert Francey admitted: "Unless there is a dramatic change of heart we will be going out of business."

"It is another severe blow to the area," acknowledged local Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan. "The global economy is continuing to have a severely detrimental effect on manufacturing with jobs, especially in textiles, going where the workers can be safely exploited. All political parties and stakeholders need to come together collectively on this and look at making rural areas attractive to investment currently going into Belfast."

Strike at Doyle Concrete enters second week

Workers at Doyle Concrete in Kilkenny are entering the second week of a strike over low pay and victimisation of union activists. The strike began on the 5 October following the failure of management to attend talks at the Labour Court.

SIPTU Branch Secretary Adrian Kane, told An Phoblacht: "There are 34 workers out on strike for over a week now. We have been getting great support from the local community and have been successful in limiting the company's operations but as yet there is no sign of management moving."

The strike follows the company's decision to make three workers redundant, including one employee who had led the successful recent union organisation drive in the company. Management have also announced plans to cut the basic entrance rate of pay from €10.50 to €8.50 an hour.

"There are also a number of foreign nationals employed here," said Kane. "They are getting an average of two to three euros an hour less than Irish workers and have no overtime premium but their precarious situation makes it difficult for them to organise."

Tackling the gender pay gap

Public Services International (PSI), the global umbrella group for public sector unions, has just launched a CD-ROM designed to support pay equity training and awareness in unions. The CD aims to address the gap in pay between men and women through provision of training materials.

The information includes union strategies, case studies, campaign publicity materials and also a guide to international and EU legislation on the issue of equity.

The CD is available free of charge by contacting the PSI offices at [email protected] . PSI represents approximately 650 unions in 150 countries, with more than 20 million workers.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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