Builders threaten strike action that could bring country to a standstill

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Builders could bring the country to a standstill if they don’t get fair pay deals honoured.

Siptu’s 100,000 members in the construction trade are ready to down tools next week if developers and employers don’t play ball.

This could see workers walking off sites on important projects like the National Children’s Hospital or large social housing schemes.

A High Court order last month saw a previous deal on pay and conditions, a Sectoral Employment Order, struck down, leaving it open to employers to renege on agreements.

Siptu is concerned for its members who work on building sites and is now writing to all their employers advising them of potential strike notice of just seven days if pay and conditions can’t be guaranteed.

It is acting in the wake of a High Court decision to strike down parts of the Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2015.

The ruling, delivered at the end of June, means the conditions contained within a Sectoral Employment Order for the construction industry are no longer legally enforceable.

In a letter sent to employers across the construction industry, Siptu sector organiser, John Regan, said: “If you fail to continue applying all of the terms of the Construction SEO we will be in dispute with your company and we will act accordingly.

“We also want to remind you that there cannot be piecemeal application of the SEO.

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“Once you fail to apply the full terms of the agreement it will be null and void in terms of dispute resolution procedures.

“This means that in the event of a dispute, Siptu will not be obliged to refer any dispute to the Workplace Relations Commission.”

Leo Varadkar addressed the potential strikes briefly in the Dail yesterday.

The Tanaiste said: “Any employer thinking about reducing working conditions while this decision is under appeal should be aware that they may be bringing strike action upon themselves.”

Source: Dublin News