March 22, 2023
European Committee finds state still violating workers’ rights – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called on the government to bring forward a roadmap on how it will address areas of nonconformity with the European Social Charter over the next 12 months.

The call comes on the back of a report by the European Committee of Social Rights, which found the government was in breach of the charter in several areas concerning workers’ rights.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“This is not the first time the European Committee of Social Rights has found an Irish government of being in breach of the workers’ rights.

“For many years now, the Committee has criticised the failure of successive governments to allow members of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces the right to fully participate in negotiations regarding their pay and service through being members of national employers’ organisations.

“Today’s report reaffirms those criticisms, but also finds breaches of the European Social Charter in terms of sub-minimum rates of pay for workers aged 18 and 19.

“The Committee found that such rates of pay do not ensure a decent standard of living for young people.

“For many years Sinn Féin has called for sub-minimum rates of pay to be abolished as they are outdated, punitive and exploitative of young workers.

“Further breaches included a failure to protect against dismissal on grounds of trade union membership or involvement in trade union activities and the right to equal pay without discrimination on grounds of sex.

“The Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment should bring forward a roadmap on how he will address the areas of nonconformity with the charter over the next 12 months.

“It is unfair for workers that the State continues to be in breach of the European Social Charter, as it is ordinary workers who suffer; it is also embarrassing for Ireland that successive governments have shown no effort at rectifying these consistent breaches.”

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