Press Release

Strike action at Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant

Date Released: 01 May 2013

SIPTU members at Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant will begin strike action on Tuesday, 7th May, at 6.30 a.m., in response to their employer’s refusal to recognise the workers right to be collectively represented by their union.

The workers voted unanimously for strike action at the plant on Thursday, April 25th. The facility treats water for domestic and commercial purposes for 248,000 people living in Dublin and Wicklow.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin Meere, said: “This action follows the failure of their employer, the agency ICDS Constructors Ltd, to recognise the right of their workers to be collectively represented by SIPTU and its failure to meaningfully engage with the union at the Labour Relations Commission on 23rd April.”

“Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant is run by SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd under the terms of a contract with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd is a joint venture between the Irish construction company, John Sisk & Son Ltd, and Spanish companies Dragados S.A. and Drace Medio-Ambiente S.A. SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd recruits, trains and directs all operations on site, and simply instructs ICDS to issue contracts and put the workers through the ICDS payroll.”

He added: “Although all the constituent parties to joint venture recognise and negotiate with trade unions, 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. On 8th March a SIPTU member was dismissed for trade union organising activity by a SDD Project Manager.”

Plant worker, Geoff Jones, said: “None of us have ever been involved in an industrial dispute before but we were left with no option but to take strike action. We cannot believe that our employers are refusing to recognise our union - it’s 2013, not 1913.”

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Pat McCabe, said: “The failure of ICDS and SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd to recognise the right of workers to be collectively represented by their union demonstrates the need for legislation in this area. In the Programme for Government there is a clear commitment to bring Irish law in line with rulings by the European Court of Human Rights protecting the right of workers to collective bargaining.”

“The workers are calling for support in this dispute from all trade unions and others concerned with the protection of human rights. They are also calling Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to clearly state its expectation that right of workers to engage in collective bargaining should be respected.”


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