Lift mechanics to mount pickets in dispute

STRIKING lift mechanics are to mount rolling pickets outside shopping centres where British company Otis is contracted to maintain lifts and escalators.

About 65 engineers working for Otis picketed Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 yesterday in the dispute over redundancies at the firm.

Pickets were also placed on the company’s Dublin and Cork offices.

A Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) official said the airport picket effectively stopped all work at the new terminal, with about 500 contractors refusing to pass the picket.

TEEU assistant general secretary Arthur Hall confirmed that union members will provide emergency cover to hospitals and to people trapped in lifts but warned that this service will be withdrawn if the company attempts to bring in outside lift engineers or use members of management to break the strike.

Yesterday, breakdowns on up to 60 lifts and escalators operated by Otis Lifts were reported.

The dispute centres on the company’s decision to make 17 lift engineers redundant last month.

The workers are protesting against the company’s decision to impose compulsory redundancies before seeking voluntary lay offs in accordance with agreements. The workers state that at least 12 staff were willing to leave voluntarily.

Meanwhile, members of SIPTU and the TEEU have voted to engage in a protest on the first day of the Irish Open in Killarney.

SIPTU organiser in Killarney Donal Tobin said the protest is against a decision by Liebherr Container Cranes to impose a holiday shut down on July 29-30 in breach of the terms of a company and union agreement.


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