ESB Industrial Dispute Details
Network Technicians employed by Ireland’s most successful company, the ESB, are going on strike tomorrow in order to save the company from privatisation.
Government and management are afraid of a public backlash if they openly declare their desire to privatise one of Ireland's greatest success stories and have therefore decided to embark on a backdoor method of privatisation.
The work of Network Technicians is being handed out to private contractors. The technicians have not been consulted (as is required by the Consultation and Information Act 2006) as to what areas of their work are to be contracted out and so they have refused to cooperate with the process since last Monday.
From Friday next they will organise a series of work stoppages, in order to prevent the elimination of their jobs, the abandonment of apprenticeship training and the eventual privatisation of the company in order to make profits for vulture funds and greedy corporate entities.
The people of Ireland do not need another Telecom Eireann like disaster.
There are approximately 1250 Network Technicians employed by the ESB, whose job it is to ensure that power supplies get from generation plants to all homes and businesses throughout the state.
Over 500 of these technicians are members of the Independent Workers Union, who are leading the strike in the fight against privatisation.
Support the strikers – keep the ESB in public ownership.
ESB Networks taking legal action over industrial actionReplyDelete
It is my view if the ESB take legal action they would lose. That is, of course, providing the court is not weighted towards the employer. 500+ employees at ESB wish to be represented by the IWU, which is their right. The employers, apart from the root cause of the dispute, have ressurected the ghost of William Martin Murphy during the events which led to the 1913/14 Dublin Lockout. The right of workers to join and be represented by a union of their choice, then it was the ITGWU, today at ESB it is the IWU. Personally I care little for the rich mans law, but there are times when such an attitude can be cutting off the nose to spite the face. All employers will be watching this, will an employers precedent be set? If the employers win any legal action against the IWU, strikes in Ireland by unions not recognised by the employer could in future be deemed "unlawful." The IWU are a legitimate trade union whether the employers recognise that fact or not. Put it this way, in the labour court they have to recognise the trade union, any trade union whether they like that union or not.
Dunnes Stores do not recognise MANDATE, despite many employees being card carrying members. If the ESB get away with deeming the industrial action by members of the IWU "unlawful" simply because they do not like them - not part of the club of SIPTU, UNITE etc- then a whole can of very big and ugly worms potentially could be opened.
Caoimhin - they should lose. I guess they are sabre rattling and inflating their lungs so as to look bigger. By law they don't have to recognise any union but they are equally obliged to recognise their employees' rights. And their is a right for employees to be consulted. The industrial action is not about union recognition.Delete
Companies always end up having to face unions. If they are hauled to the WRC or Labour Court they can't tell either body that they are not recognising the representative nominated by the employee.
The IWU represents more workers than any other union in the game. I think there is much to be said for the last paragraph in the Irish Times piece above. The ESB knows what has to be done but it is fearful of upsetting the unions that it recognises.
The rubber has hit the road and the other unions need to decide whose side they are on in this dispute - the employers or the employees.
Some Background from Gerry CorbettReplyDelete
'Minimal impact' from industrial action by IWU technicians, says ESBReplyDelete
ESB appeals to union to call off planned industrial actionReplyDelete
ESB says technicians strike by unrecognised union is unlawfulReplyDelete
This claim by ESB is absolute nonsense, to my knowledge the IWU have a negotiating licence and whether ESB recognise that or not does not make the action unlawful. If they are claiming it does, then every private employer who recognise no unions at all can claim any action taken by their employees and their (unrecognised) union is "unlawful." That then must bring into question article 40 of the constitution "the right of citizens to form associations or unions." Employers have always tried to claim strikes are unlawful, this is aimed at creating the impression in the minds of the public that an illegal act is taking place.While this becomes the focus of public attention management continue their privatisation plans. The British Government of Margaret Thatcher did the same to counter the NUM during the 1984/85 Coal Miners strike.
Caoimhin - the IWU has a licence. It is not a union that rushes its fences to start a strike or take industrial action. This has come at the end of a long process where through stealth and more blatant measures the ESB has been moving towards privatisation.Delete
Employers tend to call up the wolf of illegality to stop their actions coming under scrutiny but they end up crying wolf once too often and people see through them. The support for today's actions was right across this part of of the island.
The IWU represents in excess of 500 of the workers despite inaccurate claims from other unions in the industry that the figure is around 300. This is verifiable. The ESB needs to address the concerns. It is not about money. It is not about union recognition. It is about getting the employer to do what it is supposed to do by law which in turn draws public attention to the real risk that a vital service might end up in the hands of the privateers and profiteers.
Independent Workers Union threaten ESB strike actionReplyDelete
Strike action underway at ESB by Independent Workers Union membersReplyDelete
‘Business as usual’ despite strike by technicians – ESB NetworksReplyDelete
IWU picket at ESB Networks plant in MullingarReplyDelete
ESB claims strike by Independent Workers Union is unlawfulReplyDelete
Union vs union vs management in ESB industrial disputeReplyDelete
ESB WORKERS ON STRIKE IN NAVANReplyDelete