Electricians’ union warns of ‘warfare’ over pay settlement
The Connect union has warned employers of “war” if they fail to comply with wage and pension agreements in the construction, engineering and electricity sectors.
This follows the High Court’s decision to find key elements of labor relations legislation unconstitutional.
Connect General Secretary Paddy Kavanagh said, “We will take tough action against any employer attempting to break the Tuesday High Court decision that includes the current Sector Work Orders (SEOs) and Part 3 of the Labor Relations Change Act 2015 ‘Unconstitutional’, to use it to break agreements involving the remuneration and pension of our members. “
Describing Connect as Ireland’s largest craft and construction union, he said, “Employers are now being warned that we will view an attack on one sector or workers in that sector as an attack on all.”
Mr Kavanagh said union leadership will meet on Thursday to discuss developments and develop a strategy “that includes the potential for national vote on safeguards”.
“The Connect union has written to all stakeholders in each of the three sectors involved, stating that all contractors and customer sites across Ireland must continue to comply with existing agreements. We have clearly warned them that if this does not happen, it will end the industrial peace that we all benefit from at this point in time, and instead result in the start of an industrial war that we believe we can win. “
Earlier, the Unite union said the government must suspend the High Court’s decision pending appeal to the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, the High Court found that Secretary of the Economy and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, acted outside of her powers to create sectoral employment regulations in the electrical industry.
Union regional representative Tom Fitzgerald alleged the verdict “posed a significant threat to Ireland’s economic recovery”. He said Unite “would use all means at its disposal to protect and advance workers’ interests”.