TOPAZ seek orders against striking workers

Energy suppliers TOPAZ are to bring High Court proceedings against SIPTU and employees of a distribution firm who its is claimed have mounted pickets at a number of their facilities.

Energy suppliers TOPAZ are to bring High Court proceedings against SIPTU and employees of a distribution firm who its is claimed have mounted pickets at a number of their facilities.

Today at the High Court TOPAZ Energy group, TOPAZ House, Beech Hill, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4 secured an interim injunction preventing SIPTU and a number of named individuals who are employees of the distribution firm Wincanton from picketing or attempting to picket their premises at Centre Park Road, Cork.

The energy company were also granted permission to bring proceedings aimed at preventing SIPTU and other named individuals from holding pickets at TOPAZ's premises at Alexandra Road, Dublin and at Galway Harbour Enterprise Park.

They also secured permission in relation to bring proceedings in relation to a picket at the Whitegate Oil Refinery in Co Cork where TOPAZ collects a lot of its product.

All matters were made returnable to later tomorrow afternoon by Ms Justice Mary Laffoy. The orders were granted on an ex-parte one side only basis.

Andrew Walker BL for TOPAZ said that pickets had been placed outside a number of the companies' premises today which it is claimed are illegal.

The picket is being mounted by Wincanton's employees outside of TOPAZ's premises which are not places of work of the Wincanton workers.

Counsel said that Wincanton are contracted by TOPAZ to distribute their product.

However a dispute arose between Wincanton and it's employees concerning changes the company wished to make to work practises.

Those changes, the court heard, relate to the fact that TOPAZ had communicated to Wincanton that it has found the performance of the contract unsatisfactory in terms of costs and efficiency.

Counsel also told the court that SIPTU had not been in correspondence with his clients about the dispute.

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