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Morgan backs DKIT strikers

9 November, 2006

Sinn Féin’s Enterprise and Employment spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has expressed his support for striking canteen staff at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT). He was speaking after he joined workers on the picket lines this morning. The workers are opposing the unnecessary outsourcing of the canteen to a private franchise operator.


The Louth TD said: “I want to express my full support for the striking ATGWU members of the DKIT canteen staff, whom I was proud to stand with today. I want to further commend the actions of the Student’s Union in backing the strike and asking its members not to cross the picket-line, something being observed by the majority of IT staff and lecturers.


“Despite the canteen having been profitable at all times, DKIT is seeking to outsource the operation to a private franchise service, putting at risk the jobs of 37 workers, some of whom have been with DKIT for over 20 years. If this went ahead under the terms of employment legislation these workers would lose their service records, their pension rights. Their employment status would be extremely vulnerable with a new employer who will be entitled to lay off or dismiss employers for economic reasons, issues of efficiency or cost-effectiveness without redundancy payments.


“For students, the threat of outsourcing is one of increased cost. A main course meal currently costs approx €5. There is a concern among students that the franchisee would seek to maximise profits by not only cutting wages for employers but by increasing prices.


“The ATGWU is calling for an independent assessment of the economic viability of the canteen. I strongly support that call as I have no doubt that any such assessment will vindicate the claims of workers and students that the canteen can continue to operative effectively and successfully without outsourcing.”



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