independent

Friday 25 July 2014

Workers end Great Island protest after peace talks

OVER 60 WORKERS WERE ON PICKET LINE

PADRAIG BYRNE

Published 13/11/2012|12:38

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Workers protesting outside Great Island power plant last week.

TALKS BETWEEN workers, union representatives and the company DCI brought about a resolution following industrial action and chaotic scenes at the gates of the Great Island Power Plant on Thursday last.

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Over 60 workers picketed the power station in the belief that sub-contractors who are currently working on the station's multi-million euro development would be replaced by Spanish contractors as soon as their contract comes to an end. Approximately 12 Gardaí were on the scene ensuring that the peace was maintained.

However, following a meeting between the parties on Thursday evening, the matter was resolved and the crew returned to work on Friday morning. The conclusion would see an international scaffolding company, Altrad, take over the Great Island contract, but local workers would be kept on and employed through a local sub-contractor.

Speaking on Friday, David Lane of SIPTU said: 'It's all sorted. All the lads are now back to work today. As far as we understand, only a few supervisors from Spain will be coming over and the lads currently working on site will be employed through a local sub-contractor. There should be no displacement of local workers.'

A spokesperson for the protestors, Keith Dwyer, said 'We were in talks yesterday from 4:30 - 10 p.m. Really all we wanted was security on future work that comes up here. A couple of Irish companies went for the tender and didn't get it, and this international company, Altrad did.

'We had no problem with that. What we did have a problem with was the fact that they wanted to bring over a crew of scaffolders from Spain to do the work, when legally they would have to be paid the same amount as we are at the moment, and they would have to be put up somewhere. Also the lads working here at the moment have plenty of experience, some of us have been in this game for over 15 years. We're more than capable of doing the work.'

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