14 May 2009 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

DHL agrees to enter cost evaluation process with SIPTU to save jobs

DHL has promised to provide more detailed information on its proposed cutbacks in the 26 Counties to SIPTU, following a three hour meeting earlier this week. It has also agreed to enter a process with the Union to look at cost saving measures on a depot by depot basis that might avert some closures and reduce redundancies.  “We put it very forcefully to the company, when we met them this morning, that they should have come to us first to discuss cost saving measures before deciding unilaterally to close seven depots and slash the workforce by 320, almost half the total”, SIPTU Branch Organiser Pat Ward said. “The impact of these job losses, on top of those already announced in other companies, is transforming areas such as North Dublin and Shannon from dynamic economic growth centres to unemployment crisis zones. We now need both national and local initiatives to save existing jobs and to create new ones to replace those currently being lost. As of now DHL is planning to reduce employment in its three hubs at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports, as well as closing completely its depots in Athlone, Cavan, Enniscorthy, Galway, Sligo, Tralee and Waterford. We hope we can at least mitigate these losses and staff members have agreed to enter into the cost evaluation process so that all the alternatives can be fully explored.”


Dublin Airport Authority begins talks with unions

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) began talks this week with trade unions on cost-cutting programmes that could include up to 400 job losses. DAA employs around 3,600 staff and has said that it is facing a loss of between 60 and 70 million euro by next year if its financial problems are not addressed alongside a decline in passenger footfall by 11%. The company is expected to seek changes in work practices which is believed to have raised concerns with trade unions as worker directors of the company were requested to leave a board meeting yesterday before the cost recovery plan was discussed.


De Brún calls for end to credit drought

Sinn FÉin MEP Bairbre de Brún speaking at a Business Agenda Hustings in Belfast this week said that despite the billions being poured into the banking system there is no guarantee for businesses who deserve support can access the cash flow they need. The MEP also called for greater fiscal powers for local politicians in the north. She said that we need to be able to target specific support; to vary tax rates; to raise revenue fairly; to finance our choices to suit our requirements. De Brún also called for a stronger partnership between employers, trade unions and politicians.
“We need to build up our skills base and develop an even stronger partnership between ourselves and the rest of Ireland; ourselves and the rest of Europe; and between our trades unions, our politicians our businesses and our employers,” she concluded.

Nurses propose scheme to reduce working hours

The Irish Nurses Organisation has proposed a scheme that they believe will enable the nurses’ working week to be reduced to 35 hours and will not place any costs on the public purse. The INO launched the proposals at their conference and outlined a system where each nurse who leaves the service is replaced by two graduate nurses who are paid a reduced salary for two years. Around 1,800 nurses leave their jobs each year. Annette Kennedy, the director of professional development in the INO said that this proposed mechanism would keep graduates in the system without a cost to the exchequer. “We need to hold on to nurses. In community nursing alone, half the nurses are over 50, they’ll be leaving in the next five, six, or seven years. The vast majority in the general service are over 44. If we can’t bring in graduates, we’ll be in serious trouble,” Ms. Kennedy said. 

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