Archaeologists to take further strike action as they 'Dig4Decency'

Archaeologists protesting in the town square in Macroom, Co Cork, supported by colleagues from all over the country. Pic: Dan Linehan

Archaeologists have announced further strike action following last week's 24-hour strike at the N22 Macroom Bypass scheme.

Members of the trade union Unite who are working for consultancy IAC Archaeology will be taking further strike action against the Irish Archaeological Consultancy on July 19.

The action will involve a 24-hour stoppage of works being carried out in Dublin's Aungier Street.

Last month, the archaeologists voted to take strike action claiming that the company refused to engage with Unite regarding a pay claim, either directly or through the Workplace Relations Commission.

"By refusing to engage collectively with the archaeologists who have built up the company, IAC is digging a hole for itself," said Richie Browne, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer.

"Unite represents archaeologists working on a number of IAC projects, and these actions will continue until IAC moves to resolve this dispute engaging collectively with their workers through their union Unite.

“IAC operates in the Republic, Northern Ireland and England and its revenue is growing at approximately 20% per annum.

"Yet qualified archaeologists working for the company can expect to earn as little as €12.50 – only slightly above the new Living Wage rate of €11.90 per hour."

Jean O’Dowd, chair of Unite’s archaeological branch, said that archaeologists investigating medieval remains on Aungier Street will be forced to down trowels "to force their employer to join the 21st century."

She added: "We will continue to ‘Dig4Decency’ until IAC recognises that those who excavate the past deserve to be treated decently in the present."

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