Gama remove 230 workers from payroll

GAMA managers have taken 230 striking workers off their payroll and are trying to starve them into submission, it was claimed yesterday.

The workers, who held a protest march yesterday afternoon to the Turkish firm’s headquarters in Santry, Dublin, said they have not received food yesterday and were also being threatened with eviction from their accommodation.

Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins, who is campaigning for the Turkish men, accused GAMA of “vindictive bullying.” “This brutal attempt to try and force workers into submission is reminiscent of the tactics of William Martin Murphy and the ruthless Dublin employers when they tried to break trade unionism in the 1913 Lockout.

“Gama has already vindictively said it is sacking over 230 workers who are on a work stoppage for the past three weeks.

“Disgracefully, Gama has also threatened to evict workers from their accommodation.”

Mr Higgins said the workers were beginning to get the wages which had been deposited in bank accounts in the Netherlands and wanted to be compensated for unpaid overtime.

Gama workers have called on Irish and other construction workers to come to their aid in an effort to stop employers cutting union pay rates and cutting corners on work conditions.

Last week, the High Court ruled Enterprise and Employment Minister Micheál Martin could not publish a labour inspectors’ report on the company, pending further proceedings. However, Judge Peter Kelly said the report could be released to the Garda fraud squad, the DPP, the Revenue Commissioners, the director of corporate enforcement, the Competition Authority and the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

The majority of employees in Gama continue to work as normal, a spokesperson for the company said: “Most of the employees protesting have received substantial transfers into their personal bank accounts in Turkey over recent days. They have also been paid to date while refusing to work. They all have jobs to return to either in Ireland or Turkey and are refusing to do so.

While they are off the payroll they are no longer the responsibility of the company.

“The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has been advised that the work and residency permits of many of these employees have expired. The company regrets that these protests are continuing and being encouraged and that employees who are continuing to work normally are being intimidated.”

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