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Press Release: BATU memebrs occupy union headquarters

7 September 2008

At 7pm this evening twenty members of the Building and Allied Trades' Union (BATU) occupied the union's head office at 13 Blessington Street, Dublin 7. The members, bricklayers and carpenters, said they are taking their building back as they have no confidence in the present leadership. They are joined outside the outside by many other members who are ensuring they have both support and provisions. 

Over the past number of months members have been disgusted at the actions of the union's General Secretary Paddy O'Shaughnessy who along with three others has passed the picket line of striking union staff daily. The strike which has gone on now for four and a half months has brought into sharp focus how out of touch the leadership are. Members are also very angry that the General Secretary has refused to co-operate with the call by union trustees for a full audit of the unions finances following concerns of financial irregularity. 

Dan O'Connell, a Chairman of the union's Carpentry Branch and one of those engaged in the occupation said tonight "we are taking back our building as a first step to putting the union back in the hands of members. We represent a majority of rank and file BATU members who are sickened by the actions of the General Secretary and others and by their failure to build the union at a time when construction workers are under ferocious attack. We call on members to turn up at the head office tomorrow to support the occupation and our campaign to reclaim our union." 

Those occupying the building have said they will not leave until the General Secretary Paddy O'Shaughnessy resigns as a first step to rebuilding BATU as the fighting democratic union it once was. 

For more information contact: Dan O'Connell 0877709068 or BATU Head Office at 01 8301911


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