Early yesterday morning a protest by Unite members went up at the Kildare headquarters of Murphy Group the construction engineering company outside Newbridge Co. Kildare.
The sign that Murphy had taken an anti-trade union action was on site: the giant inflatable rat.
The leaflets being handed out said:
Murphy Group with revenue of 1.27 billion discipline & dismiss 4 workers from the Rusal Plant, Aughinish during cost-of-living crisis!! Shame on them
Workers protesting spoke about how there had been discussions around travel time for Murphy workers with some driving 3 hours per day to sites. The case in question was reportedly started when a group of over a dozen workers at Murphy’s Rusal Aughinish site in Limerick were reportedly suspended.
This seemed to be related to their discussions around travel time. In the end four employees were dismissed, one is confirmed to have been an elected Unite union rep. Though no worker could speak directly to the specifics of the issues the union members acknowledged said the union took sacking reps in particular very seriously.
Willie Mangan is the Construction Branch Chair and Ireland’s Regional Industrial Sector Committee (RISC) Chair said:
‘The National Construction Branch held a protest yesterday in solidarity with our members, one of whom is a member of our branch and the RISC. This is a company with a turnover of 1.2 billion euro a year. We call on the Murphy Group to reverse the dismissal of these four employees.’