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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 6 December, 2019

Speed camera van operators to strike next week in dispute over working conditions

Workers claim they are working in dangerous conditions and confined to speed vans for several hours.

Operators will strike next Saturday 28 September.
Operators will strike next Saturday 28 September.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

WORKERS AT GoSafe Ireland, the company which manages speed cameras around Ireland on behalf of the State, are set to go on strike for 24-hours next week in a dispute over working conditions. 

Siptu Trade Union, which represents the workers, said its members were “left with no option” claiming management have “refused to address their concerns relating to health and safety and their conditions of employment”. 

Workers claim they are working in dangerous conditions, confined to speed vans for several hours, forced to take lunch while monitoring the machinery, and reduced to urinating in a bottle due to a lack of toilet facilities in the vans. 

The union, which represents half of the company’s speed van operators said up to 35 workers will engage in the 24-hour-long work stoppage. 

“Our members have been left with no option other than to conduct this work stoppage. They are aware of the implications this will have on the vital role they play in road safety” Brendan Carr, Siptu organiser said. 

“Our members are only taking this action as a last resort because of the intransigence of management who have refused to address their concerns.

“[Workers] can be confined to their van for up to 11 hours while conducting their duties. This results in workers being placed under extreme circumstances while at the same time trying to conduct their crucial road safety service.”

Carr said workers had tried to resolve the issue through the Labour Court but to no avail. 

“These workers have attempted to address these problems through the State industrial relations mechanisms. However, the company has refused to engage with the workers through their union despite the service they provide being fully funded by the State.

“The Labour Court has issued a recommendation saying that the employer should recognise SIPTU as the representative of its employees who are union members but this has been completely ignored by management.”

He said the union wrote to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan in relation to the worker’s concerns, requesting a meeting with him to seek his assistance. 

“Unfortunately, the Minister declined to intervene, despite the possible serious implications for road safety,” he said. 

While the 28 September is the only day of action planned, Siptu said it is prepared to have rolling work-stoppages in the coming weeks if no resolution is found. 

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