What you need to know about steel pipe in Dublin city centre
Steel pipe in the city centre has been shut down and the city’s steel workers have been forced to go home as part of an industrial action that has seen dozens of workers go on strike.
The dispute started last month when the Cork Harbour Council closed the Steel Pipe and Pipe Mill in the area of Clonskeagh and Dublin Street and said it was shutting down the mills.
“Cork Harbour Council has closed the steel pipe and pipe mill located in Clonskelagh,” a statement said.
“We have had a long-standing contract with the mill to operate this mill and we are continuing to work with them to ensure we have the necessary equipment to run this mill in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The Cork Harbour Industrial Association (CIMA) has described the closure as “a direct threat to the safety of workers”.
“The council has taken this action in order to prevent workers from having access to the necessary industrial equipment to operate the steel mills that are now shut down,” CIMA secretary Michael Gallagher said.
The union said workers had been working on a new contract for three years and it was not yet clear when they would be paid for their work.
“The union has called on the council to accept that the closure of the mill is a direct threat on the health and safety of steel workers,” Mr Gallagher said on Saturday.
“I am not sure what it will take for the council not to shut down the mill.”
The closure is expected to be lifted by the end of next week.
A spokeswoman for the Cork Harbor Industrial Association said they were “appalled” by the decision to shut the mill down.
“This is not the first time that Cork Harbour council has closed down mills to allow for the construction of new steel plants,” she said.
“We believe this action will be a direct and significant threat to workers.”
She said the union would not be supporting any other industrial action and would be working with other unions to ensure the workers were given “the maximum protection”.
“We want the mill and mills that will be built at the mill closed as soon as possible,” she added.
The council’s closure comes after more than 10,000 workers in Cork City went on strike on Monday and Tuesday.
The strike was initially caused by the closure and shutdown of the mills and there were some claims the council was deliberately shutting down steel pipes to force the workers to work longer hours.
The Cork City Council has not yet responded to a request for comment.
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