Press Release

SIPTU calls on management of Kerry Women’s Refuge to refrain from using strikebreakers

Date Released: 14 November 2014

SIPTU has called on the management of the Kerry Women’s Refuge and Support Services, based in Tralee, Co. Kerry, to refrain from using strikebreakers to undermine industrial action at the facility which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, 18th November.

The decision to commence industrial action at the facility follows a management decision to impose changes to workers’ shift patterns, without agreement, earlier this month. This move has resulted in an up to 50% reduction in work for out of hours support staff and severe effects for other workers in the service. 

SIPTU Community Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins, said: “It has come to SIPTU members' attention that the management of the Refuge are planning to utilise strikebreakers to undermine their legal and legitimate industrial action. Family members of the facility’s management are among those who are likely to be utilised when the industrial action commences next Tuesday.

“Due to management’s intransigence SIPTU members at the Refugee have been left with no option but to commence industrial action. If management does attempt to utilise strikebreakers this will just further exacerbate the dispute.”

He added: “Our members are dedicated and committed in their work within the Refuge. However, they now feel mistreated by their employer and this goes against the very ethos of the Refuge itself. All they are requesting is that management use the appropriate industrial relations mechanisms to find a fair resolution to this dispute.”

The industrial action will commence on 18th November with SIPTU members withdrawing their labour and mounting a picket at the main entrance to the refuge from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. This action will be repeated each following Tuesday until this dispute is resolved.

From 8.30 a.m. on 18th November, SIPTU members will not carry out any duties previously performed by Community Employment participants. These include maintenance, childcare, housekeeping, laundry and reception work, administration of donations and opening the playroom. During the period of the dispute SIPTU members will not co-operate with any fundraising for the facility.

Kerry Women’s Refuge operates as a non profit organisation and is registered as a charity. It is run by a voluntary board of directors which employs one manager and seven staff. The facility provides services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.


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