Saturday 29 November 2014

More than 8,000 working days lost to industrial disputes

Sam Griffin

Published 21/08/2014 | 02:30

Industrial action at Greyhound Recycling was one of the disputes that contributed to more than 8,000 lost working days between April and June this year. Photo: Frank McGrath
Industrial action at Greyhound Recycling was one of the disputes that contributed to more than 8,000 lost working days between April and June this year. Photo: Frank McGrath

Industrial action at Aer Lingus, Greyhound Recycling and Roadstone contributed to more than 8,000 lost working days between April and June this year - more than twice the number for the same period last year.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show some 1,681 workers took to picket lines in seven separate strike actions across the country.

The total number of lost days was 8,014, which is more than twice the 2013 levels when 3,417 days were lost in three disputes.

Unions have said the numbers could increase further with strike action looming at Irish Rail and other long-running disputes set to rumble on.

"The numbers are hardly surprising because we've seen a number of attempts by companies to force through unilateral change including changes in people's working conditions and changes to agreed terms and conditions, instead of bringing about changes by finding agreements with workers," an ICTU spokesperson said.

The CSO calculates lost days by multiplying the number of striking workers with the 
number of days they were involved in the action.

Of the 8,014 lost days, 7,156 were in the mining and quarrying, energy and water supply, and waste management sectors.

Actions here included the Roadstone dispute over 
bonus payments which ended last month after three weeks when workers accepted Labour Court recommendations. Other disputes include the ongoing strike action at recycling firm Greyhound as well as actions by workers at Bord na Mona and Kerry Foods.

The largest single day of 
action was the one-day strike by South Dublin County Council staff on June 24 which 
resulted in the loss of 600 days, while 270 days were lost when Aer Lingus cabin crew took to the picket line in May.

Irish Independent

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