Union agrees to remove picket from Dublin apartments

Dispute between developer JJ Rhatigan and Unite trade union continues

The trade union Unite has agreed before the High Court to remove a picket from an apartment complex in west Dublin being refurbished by the building company, JJ Rhatigan.

As part of a continuing industrial dispute involving the developer and the union over use of subcontactors, Rhatigans last week sought injunctions after picketing began on Wednesday morning near a block of apartments at St Edmunds, St Lomans Road, Palmerstown, Dublin which the company is building out on behalf of Nama.

Rhatigans claims work at the site stopped after “very serious and sinister” incidents involving those conducting the picket and that its workers have been threatened and intimidated. It alleges the picket is “out of control”.

The union denies any wrongdoing and says it is conducting a lawful and peaceful protest.

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Yesterday, Oisin Quinn SC, for Unite, said it was prepared to give an undertaking on behalf of the Union and its officials to lift the picket at St Edmunds pending the hearing of the company's application for an injunction.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan accepted the undertakings and adjourned the case to later this week.

Following an application by Mark Connaughton SC for Rhatigan, the judge also granted a temporary injunction preventing anyone with notice of the court's order picketing at the St Edmund's site.

Rhatigan’s previously told the court ten people turned up at St Edmund’s last Wednesday wearing bibs with trade union’s name on them and flew Unite flags. Some of the individuals wore hoods and scarves so they could not be identified, it was claimed.

Among various claims was that a senior employee of Rhatigan’s was told he would be “would be got.”

Last month, Unite and several of its members undertook not to engage in harassment or block entrances of a new school being constructed by Rhatigans in Lucan. Mr Justice Gilligan also granted injunctions restricting picketing at the site of a new community school at Kishoge, Lucan, and other sites operated by Rhatigan.

Unite had denied any wronging and said its members were engaged in a lawful protest and any illegal activity was being conducted by others not involved with the union.