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Sinn Féin welcomes labour court recommendations on Irish Ferries

14 November, 2005

Sinn Féin's employment spokesperson Arthur Morgan T.D. speaking this afternoon said that the recommendations of the Labour Court that Irish Ferries should honour its current agreements with unions vindicates the position of the workers at the company.

Deputy Morgan said, "The findings of the Labour Court vindicate the case being made by the workers at Irish Ferries. The court found that Irish Ferries have not made a compelling case to justify breaking the employment agreement reached with SIPTU and the Seaman's Union last year whereby the company agreed to maintain normal staffing on its Irish Sea routes until 2007.

"These findings are very significant because they make clear that employers such as Irish Ferries cannot make and break agreements at will after the workers have upheld their side of the agreement -- in this case it involved accepting outsourcing on board the Normandy in exchange for maintenance of normal staffing on the Irish Sea routes till 2007. This ruling also undermines claims by Irish Ferries that the future viability of the company is dependent on proceeding with these measures . The company was unable to prove this case to the Labour Court.

"Though these findings are welcomed there remains on onus on the Government to seek the introduction of a Ferries Directive to put an end to the ability of companies such as Irish Ferries to operate under flags of convenience and exploit workers to increase profits." ENDS

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