SIPTU Organiser, Brendan Carr, said: “The company has today (Thursday, 24th October) announced its intention to attempt to impose new rosters without negotiation or input from the workers or their union representatives. A claim by the company that workers will be balloted on its proposals does not involve SIPTU in any manner and our members will not be engaging with this process.
“Our members want the management of GoSafe to adhere to a Labour Court recommendation stating that the company should recognise SIPTU as the representative of its employees who are members and negotiate with their union to resolve their legitimate concerns about conditions. To date, the Labour Court recommendation has been completely ignored by management.
“These workers have attempted to address these problems through the State industrial relations mechanisms. This dispute highlights the unacceptable practice of government departments and agencies issuing contracts for state services to companies which refuse to engage with the industrial relations bodies of the State.
“In this case, the former Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald and the Garda, which is also responsible for road safety, agreed this contract with a company which imposes inhumane working conditions on its employees. The department and the Garda are also in breach of the Public Service Agreement in relation to the outsourcing of work to companies which do not adhere to the State’s industrial relation procedures. The Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, has said that he cannot intervene in the current dispute, despite the fact that his department authorised the contract with GoSafe and he is ultimately responsible for road safety.”
He added: “The Public Service Agreement contains the principles and processes agreed between management and unions in respect of outsourcing arrangements in the public service. Public contracts contain a specific reference to a commitment by any company which tenders to comply with all statutory terms and conditions relating to the employment of people in Ireland. In light of the failure of GoSafe to adhere to these clear stipulations in relation to public contracts, our members are calling for the contract to be removed from the company with immediate effect.”