In a statement today, the strikers at Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant, announced that 2 workers have passed their picket line to carry out work at the plant.
The workers who passed the picket line this morning are believed to have been flown in from Spain by the Spanish section of the Management.
The workers have also raised serious health and safety concerns that, as the laboratory workers are not passing the picket line, the water quality may not be being tested at the site for three days now.
People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, will be visiting the workers at the site at 12.30 today to show his support for the workers.
SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment runs the Waste Water Treatment Centre in Shanganagh under a standard Public Private Partnership contract with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. SDD are responsible for all operations on site. The new plant was opened by Phil Hogan TD last January.
SDD is a partnership between SISK and a Spanish company called Drago Drace. It is believed that the workers who passed the picket line this morning are employees of Drago Drace in Spain.
The dispute at the plant is over pay and shift premium payments. Earlier this month the SIPTU workers had threatened strike action because management were refusing to recognise the union. The strike was called off when they agreed to start discussions. It was subsequently agreed to send the issues of dispute to the LRC but management did not proceed with this. Strike action started on Tues morning at 6.30am.
Shop Steward, Darragh Kennedy said: “We are seriously worried about the level of contaminants in the water at this point. It is clear to us that no sludge has been taken off the plant for the last 3 days, this means all the tanks are either close to full or full. So over the next few days the level of contaminants in the water will rise. The lab workers, who would normally test for contaminants, are not passing the picket so it seems that the necessary tests are not being carried out. This could lead to water with an unacceptable level of contaminants being churned into the sea.”
“Strike breakers passed the picket at 7 am this morning and they have been seen operating machinery around plant. One of them is known to us as being an employee of Drago Drace in Spain who worked here during the construction of the plant.”
Richard Boyd Barrett, TD said: “I have come down to the picket line this morning to show my support to these workers. It is a complete disgrace that a council owned plant is treating its workers like this. Not only are they refusing to enter into meaningful negotiations with the workers, they are now flying in strike breakers from Spain!
There are clearly some very serious health and safety questions being raised with regards to the water quality that need to be answered as a matter of urgency. We have asked Owen Keegan, the county manager, to investigate this immediately and we await his response.”