Protest at Infrastructure Department over inclusion of Murphy International Ltd on Civil Engineering Contractor shortlist

Mott McDonald protested over union-busting by Irish subsidiary of its strategic business partner J Murphy and Sons

When:  Wednesday 6 September at 11am (Department for Infrastructure) and 1pm (Mott McDonald offices)

Where: (11am) Department for Infrastructure HQ, Clarence Court. 10-18 Adelaide Street, Belfast BT2 8GB; (1pm) Mott McDonald 6th Floor, the boat, 49, Queens Square, Belfast

Unite, the UK’s leading union, will be holding two protests in Belfast tomorrow [Wednesday September 6th] over the union-busting activities of Murphy International Ltd. The protests represent an escalation of a solidarity campaign set up after the company sacked four Unite members (including a Unite rep) last year, in a blatant act of union busting.

The workers who were undertaking work at a site in the Republic of Ireland were dismissed after organising a meeting of 15 workers to discuss Murphy’s non-payment of travel and subsistence payments. After a period of two months where the workers were suspended without pay, the four workers were singled out and dismissed for not showing “remorse”. Despite pressure from Unite the company has refused to reinstate the workers.

The Department for Infrastructure will be protested over the inclusion of Murphy International Ltd on a Civil Engineering Contractor shortlist for works relating to the Department’s Major Project Partnership Framework which will see £1.2 billion invested to improve water infrastructure across Northern Ireland.

The offices of Mott MacDonald are also to be protested. That company is a strategic business partner of J Murphy and Sons Ltd, which owns Murphy International Ltd) and is supporting its bid for the multimillion pound Lower Thames Crossing contract.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Murphy’s behaviour is deplorable and it is guilty of flagrant union busting. No reputable company or government department should have anything to do with Murphy’s considering the manner in which it treats its workers.”

“Unite will never allow such attacks on members to go unchallenged and we will leave no stone unturned until Murphy does the right thing and reinstates these workers.”

Today’s protest is just one of a large number that Unite is holding across the UK and internationally to apply further pressure on the company to reinstate the workers. If Murphy fails to act, the protests and ensuing disruption to clients and contractors associated with the company will further intensify.