Tuesday 20 March 2018

Unofficial strike at Poolbeg incinerator site ends as agreement reached

Poolbeg incinerator under construction
Poolbeg incinerator under construction
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A work stoppage at the Poolbeg incinerator site sparked by the dismissal of three workers has ended in agreement.

Almost half of the 700 workforce downed their tools today after the three men were let go last Friday.

Management has agreed to reinstate the dismissed workers, according to the UNITE trade union.

It is understood the complaints of migrant workers being paid below agreed rates at the Dublin site will also be looked at.

The company behind the incinerator, Covanta, said it "deeply regrets the disruption caused by the unofficial work stoppage".

"[The company] is engaged in ongoing dialogue with trade union representatives to seek to resolve the matter, a statement this evening read.

 "All efforts have been made to ensure the highest levels of compliance exist on the site, including the engagement of a full time independent Labour Compliance Management Team on site, to address any concerns or issues which may arise on the site.

"Due to the changing nature of this construction project, it is inevitable that as some works are completed, certain workers are no longer required while demand increases for workers with different skills.

"As a result, while approximately 800 people are currently employed on the site, a total of almost 2,600 personnel have been employed since the project started, and of that number less than 300 were from outside of Ireland.

"It is also the case that some specialist companies from outside Ireland that have won contracts to install bespoke waste-to-energy equipment need to bring in their own specialist engineering and installation staff.

"Hence, while 15 workers’ contracts were ended last week, 30 personnel with different skills began work on the site this Monday, and of these 15 were non-Irish.

"Covanta has worked closely with the local employment agency to ensure all contractors coming on site, who have a requirement for additional workers, engage with the local employment centre and that, where possible, workers recruited are retained for the maximum period.

"As a result of this interaction, 44 workers have been recruited from the Live Register through the local employment centre, St Andrew’s Resource Centre in Pearse Street."

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