IMPACT members in Local Development Companies (LDCs) are supporting a day of action next Wednesday (18th February). The action is to highlight the refusal of the Department of Environment to accept a Labour Court recommendation to enter into meaningful discussions with community workers and their union representatives about changes to their conditions of employment and threatened job losses.
The LDCs work in communities with low income families, lone parents, people with disabilities, early school leavers and the travelling community, among others. The LDCs have been facilitating these, and other community projects, for over twenty years. However, the decision has been taken by the Department of Environment to disassemble the current infrastructure and replace it with a tendering process.
The Department is due to announce the successful tender bids next Wednesday, 18th February.
IMPACT assistant general secretary, Geraldine O’Brien, is very concerned about the move. “There are more than 50 LDCs, employing almost 3,000 people. However, there are only 20 tenders on offer from the Department. These LDCs facilitate crucial work in local areas, from drug addiction services, to upskilling early school leavers and homelessness services.
“No transition process has been put in place by the Department to ensure this work will continue. Private companies, obviously more interested in profit than service provision, could end up providing these services” she said.
The day of action will include a protest outside the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government at the Custom House, Dublin at 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 18th February.
Details of a ballot of community sector members, for protective industrial action against possible redundancies and job losses, will be in the next e-bulletin.