Staff at Central Bank mint stage one-day strike
Waterford Regional Airport workers vote for industrial action linked to VLM carrier closure
The Central Bank of Ireland in a statement on Monday said it was satisfied an industrial action at its mint would have no impact on the availability of cash in banks and the retail sector. File photograph: Getty Images
Ten employees at the Central Bank mint - which manufactures bank notes and coins - have staged a one- day strike on Monday in a dispute over pay differentials.
The staff concerned, who are maintenance technicians at the mint in Sandyford represented by Unite and the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU), have warned the dispute could escalate in the weeks ahead if it is not resolved.
The Central Bank in a statement on Monday said it was satisfied the industrial action would have no impact on the availability of cash in banks and the retail sector.
However, it said it would “keep the operations at Sandyford under review to avoid any ongoing impact on the availability of cash as a result of industrial action”.
The dispute centres on a bid by the staff concerned to restore pay differentials, which had been distorted by the recruitment of other technicians recently on pay that was higher than the usual starting rates.
The Central Bank said it acknowledged 10 staff members working at the Bank’s Sandyford site staged industrial action on Monday.
“The bank attended the Workplace Relations Commission last month with TEEU and Unite trade union representatives, where a proposed resolution to this issue was tabled. Regrettably, the proposed resolution was subsequently rejected by the union members involved,” it said.
“The bank believes that further stoppages can be prevented by using the services of the Labour Court to resolve this dispute, and have called on the unions to agree to refer the matter to the Labour Court, and the bank has advised the unions of our willingness to attend at the Labour Court.”
‘Unilateral cut in hours’
Meanwhile, workers at Waterford Regional Airport voted on Monday to take industrial action after what their trade union, Unite, said was a decision by airport management unilaterally to cut their hours from 39 to 21 hours per week.
The union said the cuts followed the closure of Belgian-based carrier VLM, which operated from Waterford to Luton.
Unite regional officer Tony Kelly said: “The closure of VLM has been a blow not only to Waterford airport but to the economy of the southeast.
“Management’s focus now must be on attracting an alternative carrier to service the crucial Waterford-London route, rather than unilaterally slashing workers’ hours.
“Unite members are particularly angry that the cuts only apply to ground staff and firefighters, but seemingly not to management.”