[Sinn Fein]

22nd January 2003

Sinn Fein calls for release of arrested Bricklayers and for mediation in the 18 month long dispute

Sinn Fein Councillor Nicky Kehoe has called for the immediate release of the 13 striking Bricklayers arrested this morning as a result of a court injunction taken out. The bricklayers are picketing the site at Hanlons Corner to protest at the use of Sub-Contractors by the company. They are members of the builders union BATU and are calling for the employment of direct labour. Councillor Kehoe criticised the the use of court injunctions for breaking industrial disputes and called for the Labour Relations Commission to appoint a mediator to resolve this dispute.

Councillor Kehoe said:

``I am calling for the immediate release of the bricklayers. They have done nothing wrong. They are fully justified in picketing the site.  The use of a court injunction to have them arrested is potentially very damaging to the future of labour relations in this city. This is happening just a week after partnership talks finished and highlights the huge problems that remain for workers in enforcing their basic rights to take industrial action. Why is it always workers who end up in jail and not unscrupulous employers?

``This dispute is long standing and the bricklayers have the full support of their union BATU. I am calling for the Labour Relations Commission intervene immediately and appoint a mediator to resolve the dispute.''

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