Friday 15 December 2017

Community sector workers protest at Custom House

Emma Geraghty, 26, from Ballyfermot, a member of the Irish youth workers association at a protest by SIPTU members working in the community sector outside the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government yesterday.
Emma Geraghty, 26, from Ballyfermot, a member of the Irish youth workers association at a protest by SIPTU members working in the community sector outside the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government yesterday.

Sam Griffin

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.

Irish Independent

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