Date Released: 03 March 2014
SIPTU has warned Irish Water that several main contractors and sub-contractors working on its Water Meter Installation programme are not honouring agreements in relation to rates of pay and other benefits due to workers.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin Meere, said: “SIPTU organisers have made numerous visits to Irish Water Meter Installation programme sites in recent weeks. At the sites, organisers have distributed leaflets to workers detailing the terms of employment and rates of pay which apply to the project, and which are based on the former Construction Industry Registered Agreement.
“During these visits SIPTU Organisers have been made aware of a large degree of non-compliance by contractors and sub-contractors. However, workers are concerned that engaging with SIPTU will have a detrimental effect on the security of their employment as the majority are on short service contracts. Of particular concern is the overt and covert hostility displayed to trade unions by the contractors, reflected in their reluctance to engage with SIPTU directly to reach agreement on allowing workers to organise for collective bargaining purposes.”
He added: “SIPTU is particularly concerned that terms providing for sick pay, death in service and pensions were not in place at the commencement of the Water Meter Installation programme. Irish Water has failed to confirm that all workers on the project are covered by these basic provisions and has stated that they are unable to compel contractors to utilise the industry standard Construction Workers Pension Scheme or to offer workers a choice to utilise that scheme. Of further concern is the lack of welfare facilities at many locations where workers are directed to use the toilet facilities at local petrol stations, and where no washing, canteen or drying room facilities are provided.
“SIPTU has made its concerns about the treatment of workers on the Water Meter Installation programme known to the management of Irish Water. The union awaits a comprehensive response on these issues of concern from the company.”