The following is a statement from eleven service-support workers who were made redundant by Chartered Accountants Ireland. In the grand scheme of things it may be a small story - but it is story, many of which don't hit the headlines, that is being repeated in hundreds of workplaces every month. It is not just the fact of redundancy - it is the manner in which businesses behave. It is all the more incredible that the Chartered Accountants Ireland, a regulator body, believes that this behaviour is acceptable.
Welcome to the new way of conducting business (very very similar to the old way).
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Chartered Accountants Ireland: Watchdog turned Wolf
Despite their role as regulatory watchdogs Chartered Accountants Ireland's actions in forcing compulsory redundancies on our members have been a textbook example of how a responsible employer should not treat their workers.
Their actions are a throwback to the days of the worst excesses of rogue employers:
- The selection in secret of employees none of whom were aware that redundancies were even planned
- The refusal to consider voluntary redundancies or other alternatives
- The refusal to look at any other cost saving measure prior to dismissal of workers
- The use of internships even while redundancies are being implemented
Above all else, the refusal to enter conciliation talks in the Labour Relations Commission qnd the flagrant breach of our Collective Agreement.
In addition, this not-for-profit organisation, which is claiming to be cash strapped, is paying its CEO in excess of €300,000, and the organisation's pattern and level of spending is lavish for the current climate.
Despite Unite the Union representing just over 40 of 130 plus staff at Chartered Accountants Ireland all of the employees selected for redundancy are UNITE members. They are not Chartered Accountants, they are support staff working across multifunction roles. Between them they have given 150 years of service to this institute, some of them have over three decades of service.
The Chartered Accountants Ireland branch of Unite the Union has never previously taken Industrial action or even considered it. We have met all previous requests for cost cutting measures, no matter how difficult, with a positive response. The maverick actions of Chartered Accountants Ireland management have left us with no option but to take industrial action to protect our members from unfair dismissal.
Our sole demand to Chartered Accountants Ireland is simple and reasonable: Honour your Agreement: Attend the Labour Relations Commission.
Their course of action shows a complete disregard for the industrial relations mechanisms of the state and the reputation of the chartered accountant brand. It is time that they held themselves to the standard that they expect of the accountancy profession.
Statement issued by the Chartered Accountants Ireland branch of UNITE the Union.