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Unions agree additional protections for workers with Construction Industry Federation

The agreement between the Trade Union Federation and the CIF was signed today.

THE TRADE UNION Federation (TUF) has signed a landmark agreement with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) to ensure the safety of workers across the industry. 

TUF comprises of Ireland’s largest construction unions, Siptu, Batu and Connect.

The additional and industry specific measures to deal with the threat of Covid-19 include a monitoring system, improved access to sites for union representatives, alternative work patterns and temperature testing of workers. 

Siptu construction division organiser John Regan said the agreement provides for additional safety and health protection measures to those already agreed between employers and trade unions over recent weeks. 

“These measures are based on the principle of ‘prevention first’, the speedy correction of non-compliance and the closure of sites if the safety of workers is not ensured. If it cannot be done safely, it should not be done at all,” Regan said. 

Connect assistant general secretary Brian Nolan said that “construction workers and their families need the assurances about their safety contained in this agreement as they return to work”. 

“The issue should not be used as a political football,” Nolan said. 

The agreement between the Trade Union Federation and the CIF was signed today at the Connect offices in Dublin.

Phase One of re-opening the country began on Monday and saw many construction workers returning to work. 

During Phase One, those who can work outside, such as construction workers, gardeners and landscapers can now return. 

Installations of fittings and internal renovations will not be allowed under Phase One guidelines. 

However, new builds will be allowed to be completed, according to Minister for the Diaspora & International Development, Ciaran Cannon.

This will encompass some forms of indoor work.

At the start of the month, Varadkar announced a five-step plan – which can be read in full here – for lifting the measures put in place by the government to slow the spread of Covid-19.

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