Workers at Gama get go-ahead for €40m claim


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Workers at Gama get go-ahead for €40m claim

With the election of Joe Higgins and Clare Daly to the 31st Dail, the Socialist Party, and the United Left Alliance with 5 seats, have many reasons to celebrate. However, the cause for celebration doesn’t end there. On election day the High Court approved an action being taken in Ireland against the Turkish construction firm GAMA by former employees.

THE HIGH Court has cleared the way for 491 Turkish construction workers to bring an action in Ireland, rather than Turkey, against their employers for some €40.3 million compensation over alleged underpayment of wages and benefits while they were working here on State contracts.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne yesterday rejected the challenge by Gama Endustri Tesisleri Imalat Montaj AS (Gama Turkey) and its wholly owned Irish company, Gama Construction Ireland Ltd, to the jurisdiction of the Irish courts to hear the workers’ action against both companies.

Budapestkick of Ephemeral Left has links to Mick Murphy’s diary of the strike, and to the film The Gama Strike – A Victory For All Workers.

It will be interesting to see how this case proceeds.

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Donagh is the editor of Irish Left Review. Contact Donagh through email:

2 Responses

  1. Seamus

    February 28, 2011 2:54 am

    Great result so far!
    The danger is that any compensation will not be paid by the company but by the state whose contacts Gama were working on. Which means by us.
    Is this possible? Do you trust Fine Gael to give a judgement in favour of undeserving workers? Will it allow its legal apparatus attack capitalism?
    Thank heavens Joe Higgins is back in Leinster House with the SLA. With him the workers have some chance.
    Without Joe & Co and in the absence of the CPI, workers would be at the mercy of FG, Labour and the comprador elements that now make up Sinn Fein.

  2. Donagh

    February 28, 2011 1:21 pm

    I have no idea how the company is doing, but I suppose if it ruled against them, with a 40 million compensation claim they could go bust, or say they couldn’t pay it. Also, the claim might be reduced substantially as they try to settle it before any final verdict.

    But its a vindication of the workers, and Joe Higgins and Mick Murphy. It’s great that Joe is in the Dail too to put pressure on as the case proceeds.