28 November 2022
By Elaine Murphy
SIPTU members have today served notice of strike action at Zenith Energy Bantry Bay Terminals Limited, located on Whiddy Island, county Cork, to commence on Tuesday, 13th December, in a dispute concerning compulsory redundancies at the energy company.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Willie Noone, said: “A ballot for strike action was supported unanimously by our members and is scheduled to commence at 8.00 a.m. on Tuesday, 13th December. This action results from the decision of the company to dismiss workers with long service on Wednesday, 30th November, while planning to employ contractors on an ongoing basis to do their work.
“Strike action is always a last resort but it is now obvious that the compulsory redundancies that Zenith Energy are seeking are not necessary. Efforts by the Workplace Relations Commission to resolve the dispute were unsuccessful as the company remains insistent that contractors are used to cover the work which was previously done by the workers being made redundant.
“Attempts were made to reach a solution to effect cost savings that management believes are necessary. However, the company maintains that all redundancies should be made among those employed as maintenance workers. It is seeking to make redundant more that 35% of maintenance staff and impose lower salaries for future employees in this grade.”
He added: “There is no evidence that other categories of staff are been treated in the same manner. The company also declared that the existing collective agreement is being terminated with no successor agreed. SIPTU representatives have asked that the issues in dispute be the subject of a Labour Court hearing and for the immediate withdrawal of the redundancy notices. As there has been no positive response from the company, our members have been left with no option other than to serve strike notice.”