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Mary Lou McDonald expresses solidarity with Port Tunnel workers protest

2 October, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Dublin Central candidate Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today expressed her solidarity with protesting workers at Dublin's Port Tunnel who were informed last Friday afternoon that they were no longer needed on site.

A number of workers have walked off the job and are continuing their protest at the main gate of the Port Tunnel, East Wall this afternoon.

Speaking at lunchtime Ms McDonald said:

"It is my understanding that on Friday afternoon last, a number of employees working on the Port Tunnel were approached by a Dublin recruitment agency and informed that their services were no longer required as of that evening. Whilst it was expected that there would be a gradual scaling down in personnel required as the tunnel nears completion, the manner in which they were informed was unacceptable.

"Many of the men who were told that they were no longer required have as much as five years service. Common courtesy and employment norms dictate that employees be informed in writing and given adequate notice. To my knowledge none of this happened. Clearly, employees at the Port Tunnel are angered by this and many of them have downed tools and are on protest at the treatment of their co-workers.

"It is worrying that workers are being treated in this manner and it reflects a growing trend across Ireland and Europe where employees are regarded as expendable commodities. I will be seeking to discuss this issue further with SIPTU, who represent most of the men affected.

"I want to express my solidarity with those workers who are out on strike this afternoon." ENDS

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