Sunday, 27 July 2008

Pickets win re-instatement of migrant worker

Following three successful pickets of Delaney’s restaurant in Belfast Dasa Kacova has won all her demands and been offered her job back.

A young Slovakian worker was sacked on the spot from Delaney’s restaurant for asking why she had to remove her jumper at work on a cold January day. Delaney’s owners refused to meet with the worker or with her trade union representative. As a result pickets were organised by ICTU and the Belfast & District Trades Council and were supported by a wide range of trade union and political activists including members of Organise!

ICTU state that they will expose and challenge the mistreatment of workers and in particular migrant workers who are among the most vulnerable in our society. “It is unacceptable in this day and age that employers can still mistreat workers in this way”.

The pickets met with a very positive response from the public. Even the random sample of the public who have passed the picket have produced several first hand testimonies of Delaneys’ management’s mistreatment of workers going back for years. Two former Communication Workers’ Union members who now work at Delaney’s walked off the job to join the picket. One passing schoolgirl when told of the jumper incident remarked, “God, its just like being at school!”

On Saturday 8th of March someone turns up at the picket calling us “Commie bastards” and starts pushing his way through. At first everyone thought he knew someone on the picket and was having a laugh. It turned out to be Mr. Delaney himself. He then called the police. It turned out to be all hot air. After about an hour of negotiations he agreed to all of the workers demands to reinstate Dasa immediately, reimburse her for loss of earnings, pay her outstanding holiday entitlement and to treat all workers fairly.

Understandably she did not wish to return to work under him again and agreed to a full financial settlement.