Thousands of Dublin construction workers face losing their jobs over bitter €5million crane strike
Steel workers, electricians, plumbers, general operatives and small sub-contractors could be forced out of their jobs by early October
Contractors are being forced to shut down sites and put the workers on protective notice as a result of a bitter €5million crane drivers’ strike which has been rumbling on since June.
Strikes in Dublin by crane workers in Unite threatened to close down several sites across the city — although rival unions urged their members to cross the picket and go to work anyway.
A Construction Industry Federation spokesman said: “Unite’s unlawful strike actions are now threatening the jobs of over 5,000 worker on sites across Dublin.
“Unite know at this stage that their 80 per cent pay increase cannot be met by the industry. These strikes are an attempt to shut the industry down to demonstrate their power and recruit construction workers from other unions.”
Steel workers, electricians, plumbers, general operatives and small sub-contractors could be forced out of their jobs by early October.
Unite and other unions have been involved in a battle for members, with several dozen crane drivers leaving Siptu last year to join Unite in the promise of better wages.
The dispute has turned nasty — with gardai called in on several occasions, one man reporting threats to burn down his house and allegations of racial abuse.
CIF said: “For them, the longer this strike action goes on the better for their membership drive — in the meantime, thousands of other workers they don’t represent are at risk of losing jobs, the industry faces having to shut down sites and suffer financial penalties for late delivery and Ireland’s reputation as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment suffers.
“Dublin is competing with other global cities to have companies locate here and Unite’s unpredictable actions is damaging Ireland’s reputation.
“Less FDI means less construction jobs and jobs in general in future. We’re calling on them to re-engage with industry within the normal IR protocols so industry and unions can continue to rebuild Ireland and address the infrastructure and housing crises.”
Last week the CIF revealed that nine firms responsible for just over half the cranes operating in the capital have already reported losses of €5million as a result of the six-week long strike action.
Unite-represented crane drivers have been picketing sites across in the city in a dispute over pay since June, effectively halting work.
Unions the TWU, Siptu and Batu jointly distributed leaflets this week advising workers to work as normal.