Date Released: 19 April 2013
Workers at Killarney Golf Club have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action following a management refusal to engage constructively with the Labour Court in relation to proposed redundancies.
SIPTU members voted this afternoon (Thursday, 18th April) to begin strike action at the golf club at the start of May following the management serving notice of redundancy on the majority of staff on Wednesday, 10th April. Redundancy notice was served even though a Labour Court hearing had been set for Monday, 29th April, to discuss ways of minimising job losses at the prestigious golf venue.
SIPTU Organiser, Denis Hynes said: “Unfortunately the workers feel they have been left with no option but to vote for industrial action. The management of Killarney Golf Club has acted in a callous manner in trying to impose job losses without negotiation.
“The workers believe the aggressive behaviour of management in seeking to impose unnecessary redundancies and massive wage cuts is due to the influence of an outside consultant, who in the past was involved in a major dispute in Irish Ferries. Workers are particularly angered that this consultant’s approach is being adopted by a business of which State agency, Fáilte Ireland, owns 77%.
“In view of this State involvement in the business the workers are requesting that Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, directly intervene and ensure the company complies with a Labour Court recommendation to attend further hearings in order to reach an agreed resolution to this dispute.”
Senior SIPTU Shop Steward, Dan Morris, who has worked at the club for 29 years, said: “The workers are very disappointed by the manner in which they have been treated by the management of a club which they have served well for many years. The attempt to sack the majority of the workforce without negotiation has devastated the workers and the local area. This is clearly an attempt to remove workers so they can be replaced by staff on greatly reduced wages and conditions of employment.”
Last year, the union referred the dispute at the Killarney Golf Club to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC). This year the matter was referred to the Labour Court. As part of the LRC process the union engaged an independent assessor to evaluate the club’s financial position.
Dennis Hynes said: “The assessor’s report indicated that management had greatly exaggerated the financial difficulties of the club. The report concluded that a degree of restructuring and some job losses were necessary to ensure the profitability of the business rather than the 35% pay cut and enforced redundancy of the majority of staff which is being sought by management.”