Unions representing staff in Local Employment Services (LES) and Jobs Clubs say they condemn the treatment of workers who provide vital community services and who have been made redundant in Dublin due to ‘a controversial new tendering process.’
Fórsa Assistant General Secretary, Lynn Coffey, said: “The redundancies occurred as a result of a tendering process initiated by the Department for Social Protection that has greatly reduced funding for these services in Dublin.
“It is a devastating blow to a group of dedicated workers who provided a vital and professional service to their local communities.
“Those who have lost their jobs include all 39 LES workers in the South Dublin County Partnership who were sacked, despite that organisation successfully securing a new contract to deliver the service.
“It is a blatant example of an employer taking advantage of a situation to tear up workers’ rights.
“If, as we expect to happen, this organisation hires new staff to replace our members, we will be taking the case to the Workplace Relations Commission.
“We will not allow employers to get away with a blatant assault on our members’ basic rights at work.”
“Fórsa and SIPTU repeatedly warned the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphries, that the tendering process she initiated would lead to job losses as well as an undermining of workers’ terms and conditions.
“Unfortunately, our warnings were ignored and these workers have now lost their jobs in the teeth of an unprecedented cost of living crisis.”
SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “When we met with Department of Social Protection officials, last week, they attempted to wash their hands of responsibility for the mess that they have created. Their decision to go ahead with a flawed tendering process has led to job losses, layoffs and huge uncertainty across the sector.
“Although this has all come about as a result of their actions, they are refusing to pay an enhanced redundancy package to those staff who have been forced out of their jobs.
“They have even refused to intervene in cases, such as the South Dublin County Partnership, where workers’ rights have been blatantly violated.
“Ultimate responsibility for this debacle rests with the minister, Heather Humphries, and she needs to intervene to ensure an enhanced redundancy is paid to those workers.”