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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2005

Labour court awards Gama workers 8,000

THE IRISH Labour Court has awarded Gama workers 8,000 per annum for unpaid overtime - a stunning admission of how this construction multinational ripped off its workforce.

For four years GAMA operated a ruthless machine of exploitation of its Turkish workers in Ireland, until being exposed by Socialist Party councillor Mick Murphy and Socialist Party TD (MP) Joe Higgins.

GAMA workers were forced to work up to 84 hours a week, in all kinds of weather, for as little as 2.20 an hour (1.50) - instead of the 8 claimed to have been paid by the company.

Faced with investigation after Joe used the Irish Parliament to raise the plight of these workers, Gama claimed it had deposited the rest of the workers' wages in accounts in a Dutch-based bank called Finansbank.

The workers knew nothing about these accounts, so Joe and Mick took four former Gama employees to Amsterdam and walked into Finansbank to demand the workers access to their accounts.

An estimated 30-40 million euros in workers' money is deposited in Finansbank.

With the backing of the Socialist Party the Gama workers overcame the climate of intimidation as migrant workers living on site and struck to demand their rights.

After eight weeks of work stoppage Gama workers have voted to accept the Labour Court proposal of 8,000 per year worked plus one month's wages.

However, the award falls far short of what workers should have been paid for the massive amount of overtime worked.

The Irish government now has a huge responsibility to force Gama to pay the settlement within days.

The trade union movement must now move immediately to a major organisation of all migrant workers to ensure this.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 2 June 2005:

Say no to the bosses' profit system

EU constitution defeated

Why French workers voted 'no' to EU referendum

Defend adult education

ID cards: 300 for a snooper's card!

The campaign for Socialism 2005 begins now

Capitalism can't solve AIDS crisis

"Struggle or death" - Pakistan telecoms workers fight privatisation

Germany: Political turmoil after the elections

Iraq: coalition plans floundering

Labour court awards Gama workers 8,000

Striking back at pay-cutting bosses

BBC offer must be rejected

It is privatisation and it is as we know it

Coventry single status dispute: the stakes are raised

FE lecturers fight for pay deal

Job losses expose Manchester's 'boom'


 

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Related links:

Gama:

triangleGagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state

Labour:

triangle75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government

triangleCapitalism and corruption go hand in hand

Socialist Party:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Why young workers need trade unions

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: What happens after a crisis 2 - The Planned Economy

Migrant workers:

triangle39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

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