Cork council staff start industrial action over refusal to hire workers

Council protest begins with four-hour stoppage by 350 Siptu members on Tuesday

 Siptu members working with Cork County Council are to stage a four-hour work stoppage on Tuesday. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Siptu members working with Cork County Council are to stage a four-hour work stoppage on Tuesday. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Siptu members working with Cork County Council are set to start industrial action this Tuesday with a four-hour work stoppage in protest at management’s refusal to recruit more staff.

According to Siptu organiser Con Casey, the union notified council management on Friday that members in the Roads and Drivers Section will start industrial action on Tuesday morning.

He said extra staff are needed to adequately deliver statutory services and address deficiencies by the council in applying the Service Delivery Options of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

“This action results from a management refusal to engage with the workforce planning process and recruit more staff to adequately delivery statutory services,” said Mr Casey.

He said a proposal issued by the council on June 23rd was carefully examined by Siptu members but was rejected as being insufficient to address the issues involved.

“The industrial action will take the form of Siptu members engaging in a four hour work-stoppage from 8.30am to 12.30pm on this morning Tuesday June 27th,” said Mr Casey.

The industrial action means some 350 members of Siptu at up to 20 locations will not engage or co-operate with transporting private contractors - excluding digger drivers - across the county, he said.

“Our members will also be insisting that recognised manning levels are strictly applied and that the demarcation of roles including for ‘acting’ and supervisory positions is recognised.”

Mr Casey said Siptu members felt they had no option but to take action as key council sections dealing with road maintenance and other essential services were understaffed.

The problem stemmed from the council’s failure to replace workers from the road maintenance and other sections as they retired and he questioned management’s commitment to the section.

“The running down of the ability of the council to adequately provide services would unfortunately seem to be part of an agenda to increase the outsourcing of work to private ‘for profit’ companies,” he said.