Up to 100 staff at one of the country’s largest windfarm service providers, Enercon, are to stage a 72-hour work stoppage at locations throughout Ireland in a dispute over pay and conditions.
The workers’ union, the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union, says the strike will begin next Friday unless the company enters talks.
The union is demanding the introduction of a pay structure that reflects significant increases in wages.
It also wants the restoration of the net value of allowances paid to its members prior to changes which, it says, were unilaterally implemented by the company on January 1.
The union says it wrote to the company twice last September seeking a meeting to discuss its members’ pay and conditions. It said that, with no positive response from Enercon, it referred its issues to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC)
At the end of November, it received a letter from the company saying it was not willing to engage with a third party, including a trade union, on matters concerning employees, nor was it willing to attend a conciliation conference at the LRC.
“We are looking for the facility to represent our members and for our members to have access to professional representation with regards to their terms and conditions of employment,” said Pat Guilfoyle of the union.
“This industry is highly supported with IDA funding. The State is putting money into the industry yet this company won’t use the dispute resolution mechanisms of the State.”
The union said the 72-hour strike will take effect at all locations where Enercon works or carries out business from 7.30am on March 20. “Should the dispute remain unresolved at the end of that period, the TEEU reserves the right to extend the period of the planned withdrawal of labour, re-engage in similar withdrawals of labour, and other forms of legitimate industrial action.”
Enercon is a German company with Irish headquarters in Tralee, Co Kerry. It has been here since 1998 and now accounts for every fourth turbine installed in Ireland.
Enercon refused to comment yesterday.
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