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Sunday 18 November 2018

Martin takes action as Gama sends workers back to Turkey

Brian McDonald

THE Government moved yesterday to tackle the growing crisis over allegations of breaches of labour law in the treatment of hundreds of Turkish construction workers in Dublin, Ennis and Tynagh, Co Galway.

The move came as the company at the centre of the controversy, Gama, confirmed it is to send home 140 Turkish workers, claiming it has no work for them.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheal Martin yesterday called in the MD of the Turkish construction firm after receiving further complaints about the treatment of its workers.

The minister said he was anxious to receive confirmation that all Gama workers were receiving their legal entitlements.

The meeting between senior management of Gama and the Labour Inspectorate of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment took place yesterday afternoon.

It is understood that Gama management insisted that all the Irish monies due to Gama workers had been paid in full.

It is also understood that Gama undertook to investigate allegations of a "lock-out" of some Gama workers at the Tynagh plant in Co Galway.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Gama's Turkish workers travelled to Tynagh in Co Galway yesterday to protest at the site of a new 40mw power plant being built by the company.

The workers insisted they were being paid only ?2.40 an hour plus accommodation while there was widespread confusion over money apparently paid into a Dutch bank on their behalf by the company.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins, who travelled with the Turkish workers, accused the company of being terrified that the workers in Tynagh would get to know the truth about the conditions under which they were working.

"Clearly Gama has too much to hide - they are working these men 80 hours a week and anyone who comes out to hear what their colleagues from Dublin have to say will be sacked," he said.

Up to 40 workers from the Gama site in Ennis claimed they had been told by the company not to return to the site if they took part in the Tynagh protest.

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