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Threat of mass industrial action is mounting amid pay claims

Wage demands of up to 10pc triggered by rising inflation


Managing partner of Stratis Consulting, Brendan McGinty

Managing partner of Stratis Consulting, Brendan McGinty

Managing partner of Stratis Consulting, Brendan McGinty

The threat of mass industrial action is mounting as the cost-of-living crunch triggers wage demands as high as 10pc.

Thousands of community-sector workers seeking salary hikes to counter rising inflation are planning a national day of protest in Dublin today.

Siptu public administration and community division organiser Adrian Kane warned that ballots for industrial action will follow in June without talks on pay rises to mirror public-sector increases.

Negotiators for public servants are demanding bigger pay rises after invoking a review clause in the current Building Momentum pay deal.

Mr Kane said an original claim for a 3pc pay rise had been served on employers, who are funded by HSE grants. “We will be seeking any further increase negotiated under future public-sector pay agreements,” he said.

The union represents workers at organisations including Rehab Group, Western Care, Pieta House, jobs clubs, Inclusion Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association.

Workers at Bausch + Lomb in Waterford have already balloted for industrial action over pay.

This follows their rejection of a pay deal recommended by the Labour Court worth 8.25pc over three years.

Tesco workers are seeking a 10pc pay rise over 12 months and increasing the bottom of the pay scale to a living wage of €12.90 an hour. A Labour Court hearing is to take place next month, the Mandate union confirmed. A Tesco spokesperson declined to comment.

Managers at Eir tabled a motion for a union conference next week seeking a once-off salary increase of 10pc for all Communications Workers Union members.

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The motion said this is “to help combat the cost of living due to inflation running at nearly 5pc this year”.

When asked for comment, a union spokesperson said the motion has been withdrawn as it had secured a 6pc pay deal over three years.

Siptu has lodged claims for 6pc pay rises in Dublin Port, Peel Ports and Doyle Shipping in Dublin.

At Dublin Bus, unions are tabling plans for an annual pay rise in the region of 3.75pc to 4pc after members rejected earlier proposals.

The leaders of ICTU-affiliated unions are expected to meet next month to review their pay strategy, which has already been revised.

Pressure is mounting on unions from members who are locked into multi-year deals with modest pay rises to seek higher increases. However, revising deals that do not have review clauses is also leading to conflict with some unions who see it as undermining normal industrial relations protocols.

Siptu transport, energy, aviation and construction division organiser Karan O Loughlin said pay agreements without review clauses would be re-examined.

“People on average money are faced with energy bill increases of €400. Where are they going to get that money? Or service workers in Dublin city, where rent is €1,972 a month,” she asked.

Managing partner of Stratis Consulting, Brendan McGinty, has warned that a change of strategy on pay by some unions will put more jobs at risk at a time of “peak uncertainty”.

Mr McGinty, a former Ibec official who is on the board of the Workplace Relations Commission, said attempts to reopen existing pay deals for this year and next that do not have review clauses should be strongly resisted.

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