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Contractor must engage with workers at West Pharma site – Cullinane

25 January, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Waterford Sinn Féin Senator and Workers’ Rights spokesperson David Cullinane has called for contractors at the centre of a pay dispute with workers at the West Pharma site to pay agreed construction rates and to allow for workers to return to work.  Workers have downed tools over a pay dispute as they are paid less than national rates. 

Senator Cullinane said that such practices were rampant within the sector and that there is no place for workers to receive substandard pay. 

Senator Cullinane said:

“I have received reports today that almost 200 construction workers have downed tools today in Waterford City as negotiations with the main contractor broke down. 

“I have been informed that some of the sub-contractors have brought in workers to work for less than half the agreed construction rates. I visited the site this morning to offer solidarity with the workers. The workers I spoke to do not want to be on strike, but they have had enough. They feel they are being exploited by sub-contractors and their terms and conditions of employment are being trampled on.

“I am calling on the main contractor Sisk to intervene with the some 30 sub-contractors who employ the workers to amend this discrepancy in pay. The people of Waterford need the West Pharma project to be completed in the earliest possible timeframe as the plant will bring much needed jobs to the county.

“Under payment in rampant within the construction sector and this Government seems unconcerned. They were happy for thousands of construction workers to emigrate during the recession; it kept them off the live register. Now that work in the sector has picked up, they are turning their faces away from adequate pay and conditions for those same workers.” 

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