The High Court decision, delivered at the end of June, means that the conditions contained within a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the construction industry are no longer legally enforceable.
In a letter sent to employers across the construction industry, SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “If you fail to continue applying all of the terms of the Construction SEO we will be in dispute with your company and we will act accordingly. We also want to remind you that there cannot be piecemeal application of the SEO. Once you fail to apply the full terms of the agreement it will be null and void in terms of dispute resolution procedures.”
“This means that in the event of a dispute, SIPTU will not be obliged to refer any dispute to the Workplace Relations Commission. Accordingly, under these circumstances, this union reserves the right to commence industrial/strike action and the serving of seven days-notice as required to any employer who fails to apply any of the current terms and conditions covered by the SEO as this creates a clear trade dispute,” the letter states.
It says that while awaiting the outcome of an appeal by the Government of the High Court decision or the enactment of new legalisation concerning SEOs “all tendering applications for public or private projects” should “make allowance for the application of the full terms of the SEO.”
The SEO covers agreed pay rates, overtime premium payments after 39 hours, working hours and Construction Workers' Pension Scheme payments.
SIPTU representatives are part of a ICTU delegation which will meet with the Construction Industry Federation on Monday, 20th July, to discuss the continued application of the SEO terms for the sector.