Workers unpaid during Laois motorway build claims TD

A SUB-CONTRACTOR was forced out off business and workers were left unpaid for weeks during the building of a motor way through Laois, a Laois TD has claimed.

A SUB-CONTRACTOR was forced out off business and workers were left unpaid for weeks during the building of a motor way through Laois, a Laois TD has claimed.

Speaking in the Dáil Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley, who is Sinn Féin’s Environment Spokesperson, said the plight of small and medium size building contractors has created wide-spread hardship.

“One example of this is in my own constituency of Laois/Offaly. In 2010, subcontractors working on the N7 motorway found that they were being denied payment by the main contractor who, despite being guaranteed payment themselves because they were employed on a Public Works Contract, refused to pay their subcontractors.

“As a result a number of workers went for weeks without pay and the small contractor was eventually left financially ruined. Nothing could be done to resolve this matter. The view taken was that it was simply a matter between the two companies.

“Those who pursued their debt through the courts, an expensive and extremely fraught process, found that judgements which ruled in their favour were ultimately worthless,” claimed the TD.

He made the claim as he called for the Construction Contracts Bill should be applied retrospectively to ensure that thousands of contractors who are out of pocket can get paid.

Dep Stanley said it is important that this legislation is brought forward in order to ensure that builders are protected but to achieve “full justice” it must be applied retrospectively.