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Concern at cavalier attitude of An Post in dispute

1 April, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications Seán Crowe TD today raised in the Dáil the ongoing dispute at An Post, questioning Communications Minister Dermot Ahern on the manner in which postal workers were treated by management and what progress had been made in resolving the 12 day-old dispute.

Deputy Crowe said:

"I would like to congratulate the Labour Relations Commission for its role in trying to resolve this dispute and the Communications Workers Union also, particularly in light of the bizarre decisions made by management which escalated the dispute to its current state. This dispute has cost something in the region of •14 million and has seriously disrupted normal life not only for those availing of everyday postal services but also for the workers who have effectively been locked out.

"It is of serious concern to me that some of these postal workers were suspended simply because they refused to work on a machine for which they were not trained, something that is in violation of health and safety legislation. Some of these workers were pregnant or suffering from cancer and were entitled to refuse to work on these machines. In addition, in some cases the workers‚ doctors actually had written to the company to advise that the workers in question were not medically fit for this type of work. This cavalier attitude of management towards its staff‚s health and safety requirements, if not tackled and resolved quickly, will inevitably result in more disruption at An Post."ENDS

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