Wave if you support sea workers

Posted: December 3, 2005 in Uncategorized
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Support for the workers of Irish Ferries, whose Welsh protest is now well into its second week, continues to grow.
This lunchtime, as a demonstration began at Pembroke Dock, the Wales TUC appealed for the company to bring the dispute to an end.
Ship crews at Holyhead and Pembroke Dock are protesting at plans to replace staff with cheaper workers from abroad, and to offer existing workers either voluntary redundancy or the option to take a pay cut.
But it is important to understand the anger should not be directed at the foreign workers, who are being brought in by Irish Ferries as a cost cutting measure.
The company, which is part of the Irish Continental Group (ICG), has been making profits before tax of between €24 million and €30 million in recent years.
This company insults its current staff while seeking to exploit those from abroad.
As the International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF) says this protest is “not about stopping” migrant workers coming to the UK or Ireland.
It is about helping them join the labour market on fair terms and conditions.
The dispute has so fair rumbled on fairly quietly, even though about 15 crew members have been barricaded onto both The Isle of Inishmore, moored in Pembroke Dock, and the Ulysses, docked in Holyhead, for nine days.
It is a matter which should attract huge public support because it is about companies sifting through standards until only the barest conditions of employment and the lowest levels of pay remain.
And we do not have to look as far as Dublin to find plenty of companies prepared to stretch workers’ rights as thinly as they will go.

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