Friday, 14 August 2009

Dublin dockers’ strike is over conditions, not pay

Reading an article on (Peel Ports unions threaten blacklisting over payoffs, Lloyd’s List, August 13) with interest.
The statement issued by Peel Ports regarding the decent salaries of Marine Terminals port operatives at Dublin are not being contested. The level of salary reduction is being contested, but the core issue is not salary rather the radical changes in shift pattern, manning levels and the erosion of current working terms and conditions — all of which are being forced on their staff without consultation with the workers or their union.
The point regarding redundancy packages is outrageously exaggerated. The average figure would be closer to €35,000 ($50,000) not €75,000 as stated by Peel Ports, with some workers receiving as little as €2,500.
Peel Ports’ assertion that this strike is unnecessary is ludicrous in the face of a policy by the company to completely break union representation of its workforce, as it has displayed utter contempt for the industrial relations processes in Ireland and its mechanisms.
One can only hope that Peel Ports’ motives for entering into talks this Monday are more genuine than they have been for any other talks that they have undertaken to date in order to reach a solution to this broadening dispute.

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