25 October 2007 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Unfair holiday ban on Belfast bin collectors

THERE may be industrial action by bin collectors employed by Belfast City Council alongside employees of the Council’s Cleansing Department over a ban on holidays.
The dispute centres on directions given by council management that staff cannot take holidays between now and Christmas. This ban is only applicable to the Cleansing Department. Other areas of the council are unaffected.
It is understood that SIPTU, which represents some of the workers, has requested a meeting with management to discuss the issue while the workers themselves are considering going on strike.

100 BBC jobs to go in the Six Counties

ONE HUNDRED jobs are to go in the Six Counties as part of BBC cutbacks.
The BBC plans to eventually let go one in nine of its total staff. The assistant secretary of BBC union BECTU has said that it is likely the management of the BBC will be “put on notice of impending strike action” and it is likely that there will be ballot of staff for strike action in the next week.

LRC talks on ESB dispute

THE Labour Relations Commission (LRC) is holding talks this week to resolve the dispute over payment arrears for 200 Polish workers at the ESB plant in the Moneypoint generating station in County Clare.
On Tuesday evening the TEEU said it would place pickets at the ESB station at Moneypoint, County Clare from Thursday if there were no progress in talks. The union said four hours of talks had failed to resolve the dispute.
The Technical Electrical and Engineering Union issued strike notice to the ESB on Monday and have raised the issue of payment arrears and job security in the LRC. The workers are sub-contracted by ZRE Katowicz (Ireland) Construction and were told last week that there would be no more work available for them. The ZRE contract with the ESB is worth €384 million. The TEEU, though, has said that the workers have not been paid by the Polish company since the beginning of September.
The TEEU is hoping that any new sub-contractor will provide job security for the 200 foreign staff involved and has said that a strike could affect power supplies. Moneypoint supplies around 25 per cent of the state’s electricity needs.

Union seeks recognition at O2

THE Communication Workers’ Union is seeking official recognition at mobile phone company O2 Ireland after management refused to recognise them for collective bargaining.
O2 Ireland are part of the Telefonica larger group of companies which has previously signed a framework agreement with the UNI Global Union to safeguard workers’ rights and commits it to International Labour Organisation conventions on collective bargaining.
Talks between the CWU, UNI and management of O2 Ireland are continuing.

‘Working poor’ struggle to pay rent

HOUSING organisation Threshold has called for the Irish Government to introduce an emergency payment to help those in low-income employment with their rent costs.
Aideen Hayden, chairperson of Threshold, said:
“Most of our clients are on low incomes and are increasingly finding themselves in arrears of rent with spiralling debt problems. Many face a real prospect of eviction and potential homelessness.”
Rents increased across the 26 Counties by 10 per cent in 2006 and are expected to increase by a further 12 per cent this year.

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