Incinerator Workers on Strike!

Some of the workers outside the Incinerator site this afternoon

Some of the workers outside the Incinerator site this afternoon

Most of the work on the Poolbeg Incinerator has stopped. Some 300 workers have put down tools on an issue regarding three workers let go via text last Saturday night (May 21st).  Workers on strike allege that local Irish workers are being supplanted by foreign workers who do the job at a lower rate. The foreign workers are being “bused in” by Covanta’s subcontractors.

One of the staff on strike spoke with NewsFour confidentially and has indicated that there is a policy to slowly remove work for Irish staff and replace them with foreign workers. “It was supposed to be a 70/30 split,” he said in relation to the Irish and foreign staff ratio, respectively. “The foreign staff don’t know any better, we don’t hold it against them. But they are being paid below proper rates, around €10 per hour.”

SIPTU and Unite unions are now in talks with company over the swap out of staff and other issues.

UPDATE: After the talks with union reps there has been an agreement by the company to reinstate the three workers who were let go and there will be a further meeting on Thursday between union reps and Covanta reps to discuss the issues of pay and workforce ratios.

By Fergus Hayden