EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

ZRE Katowicz

ZRE Katowicz

Geographic Location

Country: Ireland
Region: Mid-West; Southern and Eastern
Location of affected unit(s): County Clare


Sector: Construction
41 - Construction of buildings
Number Employed: 200

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 19-10-2007
Planned Job Reductions min: 200
Planned Job Reductions max: 200
Type of Restructuring: Other
Employment Effect Start: 20-10-2007
Direct Dismissals: 200

Additional Information

ZRE Katowicz, a Polish firm that operates in the construction sector, has dismissed 200 workers at its site in County Clare after it was found that the firm were not operating in compliance with Irish employment law. The firm, which had a contract at the ESB Moneypoint electricity power station in Country Clare, had their contract with ESB Moneypoint terminated after it was revealed that the company was underpaying its workers at the County Clare site. The issue came to light after a complaint by the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union. The union claimed that the firm was paying its workers 5.20 EUR an hour, less than a third of the legally binding construction industry rate. The figures were disputed by ZRE Katowicz, but it admitted that an audit had uncovered ‘limited’ underpayments. ESB Moneypoint has stated that it was aware of a ‘number of outstanding issues’ in relation to ZRE Katowicz’s compliance with Irish labour and employment law. For additional information on the dispute between the workers and the ESB and the terms of deal please see in-depth analysis published on the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) - Polish workers secure jobs and back pay after dispute at electricity plant (14 January 2008).