Community sector workers protest at Custom House
THE Department of Environment was renamed the 'Department of Silence' by around 500 protesters from the community sector who took part in a demonstration outside the Custom House yesterday.
Workers claim that Minister Alan Kelly has ignored a Labour Court recommendation to negotiate with union representatives concerning changes to conditions of employment and threatened job losses.
Siptu organiser Darragh O'Connor said the department was attempting to turn "community and voluntary groups against each other" by privatising a range of services including educational programmes and back-to-work schemes.
"There's a huge amount of confusion among both workers and service users, and the community sector as a whole is in crisis.
"We are calling on the minister to sit down and outline exactly the plans for the sector," he said.