Posted by: John McGerr | August 25, 2009

Strike


For the past several months there has been an ongoing dispute between the owners of the Manor Nursing Home in my hometown and a number of the staff. From my vantage point it would seem a justified strike based on theManor strike arrogance of the new owners. For many years the Nursing Home was operated by the Sisters of Mercy and they managed to provide both a valuable service and a fair level of employment. The Sisters chose to sell the Manor to a man and woman who owned and operated a similar business in Multyfarnham which is when things went bad. A short period after taking control the new owners decided to change a lot of the conditions of employment, cancel benefits, cut hours and so on. If the business they took over was in bad financial shape then such steps could be taken as necessary to bring the Manor back into a more profitable situation.  The key issue though, is not the profitability or lack of it, but the fact that the ‘cost cutting measures’ (if that’s what they were) were undertaken without any consultation with the staff that were going to be most affected. One could make the argument that the owners can run their business as they see fit, but is that necessarily true? Unless the owners are able and willing to run the whole thing themselves then they need the staff. As a nursing home it can be important to patients that they are dealing with familiar faces, for older people this can be a source of comfort in a period of their lives when they are dependent on others for survival. The new owners refuse to negotiate so any goodwill they might have had in the community has probably evaporated. The workers, are, by and large local, so the community SIPTU Rallyis going to be supporting their family members or friends. In terms of the business this lack of discussion cannot surely be good in the long term. There are echoes of the Irish Ferries dispute here, and echoes of the 1980’s when it seemed most business’ had a group of picketers outside the gates.

Update This strike has now ended. Not being party to the negotiations I don’t know what terms were agreed, though I have heard various bits and pieces mentioned over the course of the last while. For a news update you can read the following article from Longford Today website.

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Responses

  1. So sorry to see this. As a retired RGN, it saddens me to see any ‘running down’ of the nursinsg services, public or private…As we age , we will all need as much benifit & help as we can get without the worry of what is going on behind the scenes !!!
    I wish them all the best.


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