Connect Trade Union has supported the call for 100% compensation for the thousands of homeowners affected by the mica scandal which resulted from the failure of authorities to adequately monitor compliance with construction standards.
Connect General Secretary, Paddy Kavanagh, said: “In Donegal, Mayo, Clare and other parts of Ireland more than 5,700 families are watching their homes disintegrate before their eyes. The families affected by the mica home scandal include those of Connect members and former members. Their dire situation is due to no fault of their own but is the result of yet another failure of regulation by government.
“In response to this crisis, which was highlighted by thousands of people travelling to Dublin to march in protest on 15thJune, the Connect Executive yesterday (Thursday, 24th June) endorsed the call from the Connect Northwest Branch to support the demand for a 100% redress scheme for those affected.”
He added: “The problems in these homes are due to the high level of mica contained in the concrete blocks used to construct them. Mica is a mineral that absorbs water and causes blocks to disintegrate. Regulations state the mica content in the aggregate used in the production of concrete blocks shall not exceed 1%. However, tests on some of the homes affected show some blocks containing more than 15% mica. This is a clear case of a failure to adequately police compliance with the regulations governing construction materials.”
Connect Northwest Branch Secretary, Paul McNutt, said: “The lack of regulation has resulted in a crisis where many families have no choice but to continue to pay a mortgage for a home that is worthless. Some families have been forced to move out of their homes due to them becoming unsafe, while still paying mortgages meaning they have no money for rent and are forced to live in caravans.
“The Government has proposed a completely inadequate redress scheme for those affected by this scandal. The owners of these homes are not at fault in anyway. The Government must commit to providing the homeowners affected with 100% compensation for carrying out the remedial work necessary to make their homes inhabitable.”
The Connect Trade Union is the largest organisation for craft workers in the country, including in its membership those employed in the skilled technical, engineering, electrical and construction sectors.
Connect General Secretary, Paddy Kavanagh.