Bricklayers at the Glenveagh Homes site in Rochford Lawn in Kilcock are in dispute with their employer over bogus self-employment. The site is a large development of a few hundred private homes, and the builder is expected to make big profits.
But they still want to trample on workers’ rights.
The dispute began when bricklayers asked to be enrolled in the Construction Industry Federation pension scheme. This should have been the responsibility of the main contractor but they claimed it was the sub-contractor’s responsibility.
He said that this was not possible because the men were ‘self-employed’. However one of the strikers explained, ‘I know my revenue law and when you are told to come in at a certain time and you are ordered what to do, you are an employee. We have a right to be enrolled in a mandatory pension scheme. At present, we get none of this – no holiday pay, nothing’
After asking for their pension rights, the workers were ordered off the site the next day. They were even threatened with having the police called.
The Kilcock dispute is yet another example of how the scourge of bogus self-employment is undermining workers’ rights.
People Before Profit-Solidarity are constantly raising this issue in the Dail and seeking legislative change.
In the meantime, we should give full backing to the Kilcock strikers.