Northern Ireland

Plumbers to turn up at rival firm after losing contract

Forty workers at a Londonderry maintenance company are to walk to a rival's office to declare themselves ready for work.

Their employer, McGurk and Moore, has lost a contract with the North and West Housing association.

The company has told its workers that their jobs are now the responsibility of the rival firm, Omega, which won the contract.

The workers say they will turn up for work at Omega on Monday morning.

They are to meet at McGurk and Moore's and walk the hundred or so yards to their rival's office at Springtown Industrial Estate.

McGurk and Moore argues that after it lost its contract to Omega, its workers became the other firm's responsibility, under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 - more commonly referred to as T.U.P.E. legislation.

A surreal situation

Pat Robinson, who has worked for McGurk and Moore for 13 years, says it is a surreal situation.

"It is difficult to comprehend that come Monday you'll be landing on a guy's door who doesn't know you and that he has to take responsibility for you.

"It's very strange and nobody is looking forward to it," he said.

Liam Gallagher from Derry Trades Council has called on Omega to clarify its stance.

He says the workers feel abandoned by both companies.

"A lot of these workers could accept redundancy if they knew who was going to pay the redundancy.

"This is obscene and it is an offence to any form of common decency and I would urge Omega to stop playing games here," he added.

No one was Omega was available for comment.

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