April 2013

People Before Profit TD, challenges Minister Burton on outrageous abuse of JobBridge Scheme by private waste company with state contracts

Posted: 24 Apr 2013 07:39 AM PDT

During Minister’s Questions today, People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, challenged Minister for Social Protection, that the JobBridge Scheme is being abused by private companies.

In February, Oxygen, who run the recycling plant in Ballyogan on behalf of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council took on a number of staff via the JobBridge scheme. These staff were trained by workers who then lost their jobs.

JobBridge is the government’s National Internship Scheme that is intended to provide work experience for those on Social Welfare payments as a way to get people back to work.

The intern receives €50 from the state on top of their SW payment and the “host company” is obliged to train and upskill the intern but is not liable to pay any money to the intern.

The rules for Job Bridge state clearly that:

  •  The host organisation currently may not have vacancies in the area of activity in which the internship is offered.
  • The internship will not be provided to displace an employee. The scheme administrator reserves the right to review cases where it is reported that this is the case.

On 31 March 4 workers lost their jobs at Ballyogan Depot. These workers were employed by AS Finnegan, a sub-contractor for Oxygen.

These workers had spent the previous weeks training a number of Job Bridge “interns”. Three of these interns are now doing the jobs of these previously employed workers.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, said: “It is an absolute scandal if it is the case that JobBridge scheme is being used by employers to displace other workers. When this scheme was announced, we raised the possibility that it was open to this kind of abuse and this story begs the question about how widespread this is.”

“What makes this story even worse is that Ballyogan Depot is owned by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. Oxygen have the contract to run this. It is utterly unacceptable that state contracts are being given to companies that are abusing a Social Protection scheme.

There is widespread anecdotal evidence that this abuse of JobBridge scheme is not an isolated incident. These companies should certainly be debarred from public contracts and it is possible that even criminal proceedings should be taken. There are also very serious questions to be asked of the government about their failure to prevent this kind of abuse and put in place proper monitoring of the scheme and severe penalties where abuses are taking place.”

Richard Lynch added: “I had been working in the office in Ballyogan since Christmas and now one of these JobBridge interns is doing my job. This costs the state an extra €50 per week!

I reported it to the department of Social Protection on 21st of March. Apparently they are still looking into it! How long does it take to see that the scheme is just being abused!

Brian Halpin said: “I was working in Ballyogan for 1 year and 11 months and I was only told on Wed 27 March that I would no longer be needed on Monday 1 April. Now there is an intern doing my job. This intern is being paid from Dept of Social Protection and I had to sign on too costing the state an extra €238 every week while Oxygen are laughing all the way to the bank.”

Article source: http://richardboydbarrett.ie/2013/04/24/people-before-profit-td-challenges-minister-burton-on-outrageous-abuse-of-jobbridge-scheme-by-private-waste-company-with-state-contracts/o


Tue, Apr 23, 2013

No2CrokePark2 Press Release

Entering Talks on Croke Park Agreement Would Betray All Those Who Voted No

Major Rank and File Rally to be Organised

In a statement today the No2CrokePark2 Campaign called on trade union leaders not to enter any talks aimed at cutting the pay and conditions of public sector workers.

Spokesperson Eddie Conlon said

“Entering talks would be a betrayal of all those who voted no and said very clearly that they have had enough of austerity and cuts.  The Government has reaffirmed its requirement for €300m of pay and pension savings in 2013 and €1bn by 2015. Talks will only focus on how cuts are to be distributed across public sector workers.  There can be no concessions to the cuts agenda.

Following the vote on Croke Park 2 trade union leaders have no mandate to enter talks on a cuts agenda.

If the leadership really want the introduction of progressive taxes they should refuse to let the government off the hook by entering talks and instead launch a campaign of all public sector workers seeking the tax changes that ICTU has identified.  If they really believe that austerity has failed they should lead a campaign for a real alternative.  The reality is that too many union leaders are more concerned about protecting the Labour Party in Government than in advancing the position of their members”.

The No2CrokePark2 Campaign will be holding a major rally of public sector workers to send a clear message to union leaders that “NO MEANS NO”. Details will be announced in the next few days.

Contact Eddie Conlon 087 6775468

Martin Marjoram 086 3862532


19th April 2013

All members are requested to participate in the May Day march in Dublin in this Centenary Year of the 1913 Lockout. The march is being organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. 

Arrangements are as follows: 
Wednesday 1st May 2013 – Assemble at Parnell Square at 7.00 p.m. to march to Liberty Hall for a public meeting.  

Yours in solidarity