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Investigation needed into worker exploitation at publically funded community college site in Lucan – Peadar Tóibín TD

17 September, 2014

Sinn Féin’s Jobs Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín TD has today sought a Dáil debate on the ongoing dispute at the publically funded Kishoge Community College building project where bricklayers have been locked out of their employment for refusing to enter into bogus self-employment agreements sought by the on-site subcontractor.

The Meath West TD said:

“Today’s marks the return of the Dáil after the summer recess, and yet again TDs and Senators will be met outside Leinster House by workers left with no option but to protest against deeply unjust work practices by an employer.

“Construction workers at the publically funded Kishoge Community College building project in Lucan have in effect been locked out of their jobs because they have refused to bow their employer’s demand that they register as self-employed, and accept the excessively low rates of pay.

“Both the Department of Education and Skills as the funder of the project, or J.J. Rhatigan and Company, the main contractor, continue to take a hands off approach to the dispute. In fact the Department has in a recent statement taken a deeply bureaucratic and unhelpful stance on the issue.

“It is clear that there is an urgent need for a review by Government into publically funded building projects to ensure the primary contractors and sub-contractors they employ are fully compliant with employment law, decent pay rates of pay are maintained and that workers are not being coerced into bogus self-employment arrangements.

“Local Sinn Féin Cllr. Eoin Ó Broin has called for an urgent investigation into sub-contractors practices on building projects funded by public monies by the Department of Education and Skills, and the Public Accounts Committee. In turn the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform also has a role to play as Minister Howlin has overall responsibility for public procurement.

“I’ve sought a Dáil debate to discuss these issues with particular reference to the dispute at the new Kishoge Community College site. I have also written to the relevant Ministers and Minister of State, and intend to put the matter on the agenda of the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committee.” ENDS

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