Skip to main content

Corrib controversies continue with security strike and hoax bomb call

Áine Ryan

JUST weeks before the controversial Corrib gas is due to flow, there was a one-day strike by security guards yesterday (Monday) and, in a separate development, a hoax bomb threat was made to the north west Mayo refinery over the weekend.
Security guards policing the Bellanaboy refinery held the 12-hour work stoppage yesterday because of a row over job losses. All of the security guards work for security company Senaca (formerly Irms). Seneca has said that since the construction phase of the project is almost complete, its involvement was always set to be scaled back.
The SIPTU strikers are all from the Erris area, and some have worked at the Corrib terminal for 14 years. The dispute relates to ‘the unilateral implementation of job losses and reduced hours by the security contractor Senaca Group’.
“While our members have sought a negotiated solution to this dispute, the company has refused to agree to attend the Labour Court as agreed following conciliation talks at the Workplace Relations Commission,” SIPTU Organiser Ed Kenny said in a statement.

The work stoppage was held from 6am to 6pm with official pickets placed on the entrances to the Bellanaboy terminal.
SIPTU shop steward and Senaca security guard Michael Leneghan said: “The workers have been left with no option but to conduct this industrial action due to the intransigence shown by management in this dispute. Our members are open to engaging in negotiations but will also intensify their industrial action if necessary.”
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Mr Leneghan said that three security workers had been given P45s last week, and that seven more were on notice for Thursday week.
Mr Leneghan is a native of Ballycroy and has two young children, one just four weeks old.
He said that 38 of the 48 security guards were in SIPTU, and that 21 of the are 48 due to lose their jobs.
“We had expected to be treated fairly. There are people among the crew that want to go but they won’t let them, because, I believe, they want to get rid of the union members,” Mr Leneghan said.
A statement for Senaca confirms that the company has been ‘engaging with staff since 2013 to manage this on a phased basis’.
“We are disappointed that despite every effort being made to resolve this matter, and the fact that we adopted SIPTU’s proposed approach, we are now at this impasse,” the statement says.
“We have kept our staff fully informed throughout this process. Despite today’s avoidable industrial action, we remain committed to reaching an agreement with our staff and their union representatives.”

Bomb hoax
MEANWHILE, a spokesman for Shell confirmed that a call claiming there was a bomb outside the main gates of the refinery was received in the early hours of Saturday morning last.
“[It] was quickly established that it was a hoax call. An Garda Síochána have been subsequently informed,” he said.
It is believed the call was made to security personnel on duty just before 2am on Saturday morning. The Mayo News understands there was no device found, and that an evacuation procedure was not implemented.

Posted Date: 
20 October 2015