6 November 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe BY STEPHANIE LORD

ICTU/Government action needed on Aer Lingus jobs threat

SIPTU has sought the intervention of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Government in the Aer Lingus dispute over the management threat to shed 1,300 jobs at the airline. Gerry McCormack of SIPTU said the company won’t talk about anything other than cutting staff costs and jobs.
“Despite repeated attempts by us to raise other issues,” he said, “they failed to discuss their business strategy with us or provide information that would allow for informed discussion on anything other than job cuts and the decimation of pay and conditions for those who survived the axe.”
SIPTU wants the assistance of the ICTU and Government to find a solution to the problem and he encouraged Aer Lingus to find a solution to the crisis which would require a more creative option.
SIPTU will conclude its ballot for industrial action this week.
Aer Lingus had previously said it planned to outsource work from 1 December onwards and SIPTU has said it will not carry out industrial action unless this goes ahead. McCormack said:
“However, I cannot stress strongly enough our opposition to outsourcing jobs and throwing over 1,300 people and their families on the dole. This would have devastating effects on our members and the wider communities in north Dublin, Cork and Shannon.”
Despite the calls from the union, it is believed that Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has no plans to intervene and this could provoke industrial action over the busy Christmas period.


Belfast Telegraph jobs threat

MANAGEMENT at the Belfast Telegraph newspaper is in talks with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Unite trade union about threatened redundancies for production and clerical staff and shift changes which would force editorial staff to work on Sundays.
The Belfast newspaper, which is owned by the Independent News and Media Group has seen circulation drop from 94,540 to 75,694 over the past four years.
The Belfast Telegraph office in Derry shut in June of this year and the paper also suffered the loss of its sports paper, Ireland’s Saturday Night.
NUJ Irish Organiser Nicola Coleman said that the paper has already recently undergone a redundancy programme and that further threats to editorial resources will be resisted.


Job losses continue in Limerick 

A RESTRUCTURING programme at the Flextronics plant in Limerick could see 100 out of the 290 people employed there being let go.
The company is believed to be planning the reduction of posts as part of a restructuring programme to cut costs. Many of the employees in the plant are represented by SIPTU which is negotiating with company management to prevent further job losses.
This round of job losses will come as a further blow to Limerick as global computer manufacturer Dell will be letting 700 temporary staff go this week.


Minister welcomes work of Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Sinn FÉin Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has welcomed the work of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) in the Six Counties. GLA Chairperson Paul Whitehouse was promoting the work of the organisation across the North this week.
The GLA regulates the supply of workers to the agricultural, horticultural and shellfish industries. Employment agencies in these sectors are obliged to register with the GLA. Minister Gildernew said:
“I realise the importance of raising the profile of gangmaster licensing and I fully endorse the work of the GLA which aims to curb the exploitation of vulnerable workers by unscrupulous gangmasters.”
It is believed that over a third of recruitment agencies taking on workers in the North for food packing and the processing sector are operating without the necessary GLA licences. The relevant legislation stipulates that those operating without a licence can face up 10 years in jail, while farmers and food companies may also be prosecuted.

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