Jobs row threatens motorway projects
A ROW over redundancies at a major construction firm could have major knock-on effects on motorway and school building projects.
And supermarket chain Tesco also faces the prospect of industrial action in a separate dispute with the same union over redundancy payments.
SIPTU has served notice of industrial action on Pierse Contracting after accusing it of failing to give workers a redundancy package recommended by the Labour Court.
The firm is building motorway service stations on the M1 at Castlebellingham in Louth, Lusk, Co Dublin, and the M4 at Enfield in Meath.
It is also building schools elsewhere in Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Cork and Limerick.
Last night, SIPTU organiser Jim Sheridan said the company had put up to 30 workers on temporary lay-off but following a Labour Court hearing refused to accept the redundancy recommendation.
SIPTU is also balloting 600 members for strike action at Keelings Distribution in Ballymun in Dublin in a dispute over redundancy payments for more than 150 workers.
The union said the workers, mainly drivers, were losing their jobs due to Tesco's decision to switch its transport contract to another provider.
SIPTU sector organiser Karan O'Loughlin said: "The effect of this dispute will be empty shelves in many Tesco stores around the country as distribution grinds to a halt."
Meanwhile, an interim examiner was appointed by the High Court yesterday to a Galway- based pharmacy group employing 55 staff.
The court heard that Michael McLoughlin Pharmacy Ltd and Sundrive Pharmacy Ltd were insolvent and unable to pay their debts.
The companies got into difficulty due to the operation of directors' loan accounts involving sums estimated at €3.12m, inadequate cost control and management, the impact of state expenditure cuts and the costs of opening a new pharmacy in 2008, the court heard.
Yesterday Mr Justice Frank Clarke said he was going to appoint George Maloney of Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon as interim examiner to the Galway based firms.
The judge made the appointment on foot of a petition from United Drug (Wholesale) Ltd, a creditor of the group.
Bank of Scotland Ireland is believed to be owed €7.26m on foot of loans taken out by the group. The group directors are Michael and Anne McLoughlin of Devon Park Salthill, Galway.
At the end of last month, the group also owed more than €5.8m to trade and unsecured creditors, €500,000 to the Revenue and €899,000 to related companies.