Sep 29, 2005

People should Boycott Irish Ferries

Article from Irish Examiner about Irish Ferries plans to sack all their staff and replace them with lower paid ones from elsewherein the EU. I reckon you should use Stena Line if you are planning on etting to ireland by Ferry.

MANAGEMENT at Irish Ferries was accused yesterday of "bullyboy tactics" over its plans to make staff redundant.

And trade union congress leader David Begg warned if the proposed EU services directive became reality, "then the grotesque Irish Ferries scenario will become the norm".

He described the directive as "a charter for social dumping" that would result in huge loss of properly paid jobs.

Mr Begg said Irish Ferries' chief executive, who earned €687,000 last year, wanted to dump 543 workers and replace them with people on around €3 an hour.

"There's something deeply obscene about that," he told the Challenges for Europe conference in Dublin. "This should serve as a wake-up call for legislators at a national and EU level."

Earlier, SIPTU branch secretary Paul Smyth claimed Irish Ferries was attempting to bully staff. It had sent out a letter reminding them voluntary redundancy package being offered expires next Sunday.

Mr Smyth said: "Irish Ferries is effectively demanding that employees accept the redundancy package by Friday. It is one more instance of the bully-boy tactics that have marked the company's approach since it began outsourcing services and downgrading pay and conditions earlier this year."

Mr Smyth said the ferry company had treated the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with contempt as it had the Labour Court, the National Implementation Body and even employers' organisation IBEC.

"So it perhaps is not surprising that it is now resorting to these tactics to pressurise employees into making a crucial decision about their futures," he said.

Mr Begg told the Europe conference that pay rises were needed.

Pointing to the high productivity, high growth and low inequality levels obtaining in the Nordic countries, he said this was an example for Ireland to follow.

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