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Nenagh Motorway Employees Allege Unfair Conditions By Employer

Portuguese Motorway employees allege unfair conditions by their employer, named as ‘RAC Eire Partnership’; while building a section of the N7 motorway, between Limerick and Nenagh.

Mr Armando Agostinho Alves da Silva, a Portuguese construction worker has claimed, in the High Court, that he and his colleagues lived in deplorable conditions at a work camp in Co. Tipperary. The camp, now demolished, was provided by his former employers, while they were building a section of the N7 motorway, between Limerick and Nenagh, back in the years 2007 and 2008.

Twenty workers allege they were underpaid while working for three Portuguese companies, latter who traded under the name ‘RAC Eire Partnership’. Mr Da Silva told Ms Justice Carmel Stewart that they were expected to begin work at 7.00am and continue until 10.00pm or 11.00pm at night. He and up to 90 other Portuguese workers were obliged to live in a cramped prefab outside the town of Nenagh, in Co. Tipperary, with six to eight persons allocated to a single room, latter which lacked even the very basic facilities.

Showers did not always work all of the time and clean water was undrinkable. Bags of rubbish from the facility provided, were not always collected on time and there was a constant smell from waste water. There were no cooking facilities in the building and meals were only provided by their employer on working days, while on days off they were obliged to fend for themselves. Deductions made from wages for this accommodation and for domestic laundry were not deemed as being reasonable by the workforce.

Following a later take-over by a new company, Mr Da Silva was moved into a house in the locality and received an increase in pay and shorter working hours.

The Portuguese construction workers have now taken proceedings against three allied companies, namely (1) Portuguese-based Rosas Construtores SA, (2) Constructocoes Gabriel AS Couto SA, and (3) Empresa Deconstrucoes Amandio Carvalho SA, all of which traded as RAC Eire Partnership.

This case is just the latest in a similar number of actions to come to the attention of the High Court. One similar case, back in 2016, saw 27 workers awarded €1.5 million.
The case continues.

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