Gama to have showdown meeting with workers

A showdown meeting is planned tomorrow between bosses at the Gama construction firm and its Turkish workers and SIPTU officials.

A showdown meeting is planned tomorrow between bosses at the Gama construction firm and its Turkish workers and SIPTU officials.

The workers are demanding access to their money in secret Dutch bank accounts as well as a stop to alleged victimisation by the building contractors.

Over 400 workers marched on Leinster House on Monday and similar numbers held a demo at the Gama-owned Tynagh Power Plant in Galway yesterday.

Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins, who first raised the issue in the Dáil in February, travelled to the Netherlands last week where he discovered wages of workers in Finansbank accounts which they had no knowledge about.

Gama executives met with Employment Department officials yesterday and a department spokesperson said it is still awaiting clarification from the company on a number of issues it raised.

Mr Higgins said today: “Gama wants to hide the truth by blocking a Labour inspector’s report into its activities.”

SIPTU claimed today that since protests began on Monday, the workers’ families at home in Turkey “were complaining of a high level of intimidation“.

Gama has said that work has dried up for up to 150 labourers and they will have to be sent back to Turkey.

But SIPTU said that if the company goes ahead with this threat, it would call on the Construction Industry Federation to find other jobs for the workers.

SIPTU branch secretary Eric Fleming said: “This demand is not unreasonable in view of the concern about the shortages of labour in the industry.”

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