Monday, 27 July 2009

Dublin dockers vow to continue strike action

No signs of resolution to industrial dispute over proposed cutbacks at Peel Ports facility

Striking dockers at one of Dublin’s largest container terminals have vowed to continue industrial action for as long as necessary.
Dockers at Peel Ports-owned Marine Terminals Ltd (MTL), which represents around 25% of traffic handled at the port, went on strike on 3 July after negotiations over redundancy packages, pay cuts and operating procedures broke down.
"We’re still on strike and there is no sign of us coming back off strike," one docker told IFW.
"There are a select few members of staff who have passed the pickets and they [MTL] are bringing in staff from other terminals, but we’re going to keep going for as long as we need.
"A lot us don’t feel they’re ever going to back down because we’ve spoken to staff at other terminals Peel Ports has taken over and they’ve told us they also went in for negotiations, but Peel refused to actually negotiate. It was their way or you’re out."
A Peel Ports spokesman confirmed a number of workers were on strike but added the terminal was still operating effectively.
"The port itself is operating very smoothly, the customers have in fact been commenting on how extremely smoothly things have been running and this proves how little impact there has been on customer traffic," he said.
Both parties have agreed to return to the negotiating table on 4 August when a meeting will be held by the Labour Relations Commission, an independent industrial dispute resolution body.
However, the Peel Ports spokesman refused to say whether he expected differences to be resolved at the meeting.
"That remains to be seen. The union has adopted a fairly entrenched position, and, given the economic downturn, there really needs to be efficiencies made. Some of the dockers are earning €75,000 (US$106,000) per year, which is substantially above the industry norm."
MTL would like to make €60,000 the maximum pay.
Marine Terminals has so far made 19 members of the 81-strong workforce redundant, with five of those being voluntary.
The workers’ union SIPTU-MPGWU has said it understands redundancies and pay cuts may be needed, but claims these must be negotiated rather than just thrust on workers.
In a letter to MTL, SIPTU-MPGWU organiser Oliver McDonagh said: "The issue is the company’s continuance to change the contract of employment and to diminish the terms and conditions of our members without discussion, negotiation and agreement."
He added: "The company does not have the right under any statute to unilaterally change the contract of employment without going through this process."


Anonymous said...

Peel Ports Marine Terminals Limited today issued letters to all staff on the picket that they were now at risk of being made redundant! When will this end, please show your support for your fellow dockers, you could be next!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You have my support 100%.

Anonymous said...

These dockers earn this much because of overtime that the company asks them to do (volunteer) helping the company out. So its not a valid point is it ?

Anonymous said...

All the best lads as a fellow docker i support you because the bullying has to stop at some time and it may as well be now all the best.

Anonymous said...

All the best lads 100% support remember an old saying they might have the bert but you have the water.

Youmakemelaff said...

And what support is that then Mr Basin Digger? Easy to say from you safe little spot!

Anonymous said...

The Dublin dockers won their case today when Peel tried to have them jailed 4 picketing the port. WooHoo!

They're havin a march on Mon @ 10.30 starting from Seam Moore r'bout Ringsend, Dublin. Pls support & fwd this.

Seán, Dublin SF

Anonymous said...

lads if anyone wants too know how much we reallly earned or the real variation of the redndancy terms peel offered sure just leave a comment asking anything you want or go too our site we are happy to answer any questions because peel are putting out way too many false statements. Happy days it didnt rain today.