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Strike at Dublin water plant to begin on Tuesday

“We cannot believe that our employers are refusing to recognise our union – it’s 2013, not 1913″.

File photo
File photo
Image: Protest signs via Shutterstock

STAFF AT A plant which treats water for 248,000 homes and businesses in Dublin and Wicklow are to strike over what they say is their employer’s refusal to recognise their rights to be collectively represented by their union.

The strike action by SIPTU members at the recently reopened Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant in south Dublin will begin at 6.30am on Tuesday 7 May.

“None of us have ever been involved in an industrial dispute before but we were left but no option but to take strike action,” said plant worker Geoff Jones.

We cannot believe that our employers are refusing to recognise our union – it’s 2013, not 1913.

The plant reopened on 31 January after a €98.5 million upgrade. It is run by SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd – a joint venture between Irish construction company John Sisk & Son and two Spanish companies – under a contract with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. Staff are employed by agency ICDS Constructors.

SIPTU says ICDS Constructors failed to ‘meaningfully engage’ with the union when problems were brought to the Labour Relations Commission in late April.

“Local management from SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd has made it clear to the SIPTU members on site that it will not recognise a trade union,” said SIPTU organiser Martin Meere.

“Issues that were first raised by workers within the plant as far back as January have unfortunately deteriorated to an unprecedented low,” said Shane Connolly O’Brien, a Sinn Féin representative for Ballybrack and Shankhill, where the plant is located.

“Several staff members have already left the facility due to bad working conditions and safety concerns which have gone unanswered”.

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