"The government has relinquished control over the offshore areas of our industry. Norway was tough regarding oil companies from the start. You now have an almost embarrassingly large pension fund. The situation for Irish communities, however, is as in Ogoniland in Nigeria - oil is a curse,”
Corrib security staff unhappy with reduced wages
SECURITY staff working at the Corrib gas terminal in Bellanaboy have expressed their dissatisfaction at new working arrangements where their hours have been cut by 20 per cent which they claim will see them take home €15 less than if they were on the dole.
The security for the terminal in Bellanaboy has been provided by Brendan Gilmore Security for the last seven years and they employ 120 security staff at the terminal. The staff have now seen their working hours reduced from 48 hours to 36 hours a week which some staff claim will force them onto the dole queue.
One member of security who contacted The Mayo News said staff were unhappy with the way they were being treated and felt they should have been given the option of redundancy. He said staff with families cannot afford to live on 36 hours a week at €12 an hour and said they were the worst paid of all the staff working on the terminal.
“People have given five or six years service and now they have seen their hours and their wages cut and they will take home €15 less than we would get on the dole. Nobody can live on that sort of money and if the hours keep getting cut we will eventually have to go. We are the lowest paid on the site and we are not entitled to a finishing bonus of €3,500 when the site is finished,” he explained.
The security worker explained that staff work 12 hour shifts with some having to get up at 4.30am to start work in the morning. He said that 80 per cent of the staff are from Mayo and the Erris area and they had to take the brunt of the abuse during the protests.
“I live near the terminal and there are people here who have fallen out with their neighbours for working here. They have not talked to their neighbours because they work here and have taken rough abuse and this is the way we are being treated.”
He said staff were also unhappy that they and the management have not met them to discuss the cutbacks and claimed that some staff had remained on a 48 hour working week.
However, this was denied by Brendan Gilmore of Brendan Gilmore Security who told The Mayo News that the cuts were across the board and he has not got much negative feedback.
“It is very quiet at the moment at the site and rather than let people go the hours have been reduced. We must realise the climate we are in and that there are no job losses. They are entitled to sign-on the days they are not working and it is unfortunate but I didn’t want anyone to lose their jobs. I have given a lot of employment to people in that general area and I am delighted to be able to hold on to them,” he said.