From Socialist Voice, February 2010

Workers in struggle

The general attack throughout the economy on workers’ terms and conditions continues apace. The employers’ organisations, in particular ISME, have been leading the charge against the minimum wage, while registered employment agreements and employment regulation orders have come under renewed attack both from the bosses’ organisations and from Dara Calleary, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment.

QK Meats, Naas, Co. Kildare

This anti-union company is part of the Queally Group, which has refused to recognise the right of its employees, who are mainly from Brazil, to join a trade union, in particular SIPTU. It has announced that it intends to make a further ninety workers redundant with the announced closure of its factory in Naas.
     The company has consistently refused to implement a Labour Court recommendation that provided for basic pension and sick pay cover and overtime rates, applicable throughout the industry, resorting to legal battles rather than recognising the rights of its workers.
     SIPTU has been informed that the company had sought pay cuts in the region of 50 per cent. Speculation locally is that the company will reopen a new plant in the near future, and that those seeking work in any new plant will be forced to accept the savage wage cuts that the company has tried to impose on the present work force.

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