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Irish Ferries actions shocking

24 November, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Employment Arthur Morgan T.D. has denounced actions by Irish Ferries who today have attempted to replace the existing crew of the Isle of Inishmore with a new crew of eastern European workers while the ship was docked in Pembroke.

Deputy Morgan said, "Today's actions by Irish Ferries are shocking. That this company would attempt to replace existing crew with two busloads of Eastern European Workers while the ship was docked in Pembroke is absolutely scandalous. The company is claiming that these actions are part of the process which will lead to the implementation of its planned voluntary redundancy programme. There is nothing voluntary about this. Workers are being ejected from their jobs. This is reminiscent of the 1913 lockout and represents the greatest attack on the rights of workers that Irish people have seen since then

"There are also reports of worrying developments on board the Ulysses where the Seaman's Unions has told us that security guards have appeared on board. The company is spuriously claiming that these security guards have been brought on board because other workers are afraid of the ships officers. It is clear that this is merely another attempt by Irish Ferries bosses to inflame the situation to allow them to proceed with their plans.

"The Government cannot stand idly by and allow this. The recommendations of the Labour Court have been torn up by Irish Ferries bosses. They have shown absolute contempt for their workers and for the industrial relations mechanism of the state.

"An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern must denounce these actions which will see workers on his own doorstep booted out of their jobs in scenes reminiscent of industrial disputes from another era." ENDS

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