Thursday, 18 February 2010

Dublin port dispute settled

Workers at Ireland’s busiest container terminal have voted to cancel the latest round of industrial action over redundancies and working conditions, following negotiations between unions and management.

Staff at Dublin’s Marine Terminals (MTL) had been due to strike on Monday, but yesterday a deal was brokered between MTL and unions Siptu and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

Siptu told IFW today: “The dispute is over; the issues have been resolved through negotiation, and this has been voted for by the workers at a meeting in Liberty Hall last night.

The settlement between MTL and Siptu concerns the Irish Labour Court’s recommendation of 12 October, and an arbitrator’s findings issued on 5 January.

It sets out agreements on arbitration and problem solving, and commits both parties to building skills and co-operation for the future running of the port, and includes a comprehensive training programme for the workers to ensure they are multi-skilled in all the disciplines at MTL.

Siptu divisional organiser Christy McQuillan said: “Our members have been through a very difficult experience regarding their welfare and that of their families over a protracted period.

“The important thing is that hands-on jobs at Dublin Port have been protected and the company has an opportunity to grow and develop the business, which will, hopefully, lead to the creation of further jobs.

“The agreement also ensures that workers in the company will have union representation and will have access to all the industrial relations procedures of the state.”

An MTL spokesman said: “Today’s agreement marks a major step forward in ensuring our customers continue to receive the high level of service they are accustomed to.

“We are grateful to the ITF for its efforts and look forward to working in partnership with Siptu to deliver on both the spirit and letter of the agreement.”

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