News & Media

Minister for Justice must act to resolve Go Safe strike

25 October 2019

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

With a planned 72-hour strike action by staff operating Go Safe speed camera vans starting tomorrow morning, Labour Party leader, Brendan Howlin TD has called on the Minister for Justice to clarify if Garda resources will be diverted from communities for road policing this weekend, and outline why the Minister won’t call on the company he has contracted to engage with its employees, as required by the Public Service Stability Agreement.

Deputy Howlin said

“This weekend sees the second strike by workers in the Go Safe company and the employer has continued to refuse to engage with the industrial relations machinery of the State, while the Minister for Justice refuses to take any responsibility for resolving it.

“This is an outsourcing contract awarded by the State through the Department of Justice and An Garda Síochána yet they have allowed the employer to breach the Public Service Stability Agreement provisions on outsourcing.

“It is wrong that the State contractor is being allowed ignore key provisions of public policy. The Labour Court issued a recommendation that GoSafe should recognise SIPTU as the representative of its employees who are union members, yet this has been ignored by management.

“There is a serious concern that Garda resources are now being diverted from communities to ensure adequate road policing. This also probably means an additional amount of money will have to paid in overtime over the weekend. It is correct that our roads are kept safe but the Minister for Justice could resolve this dispute if he so wished.

“Instead the Minister for Justice is washing his hands of responsibility. It is not good enough for Minister Flanagan to claim it is a private dispute. His Department and the Gardaí are both signatories to this contract, and he should insist that the company convenes talks with SIPTU to avoid the strike.”