Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has accused the government of abandoning workers who are still unable to return to work due to public health restrictions.
Speaking today, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“In less than a fortnight, the government plans to slash the Pandemic Unemployment Payment despite the fact that many sectors remain closed due to public health measures.
“The government has failed to produce a roadmap for the live entertainment sector to reopen safely and workers in the industry are deeply concerned about their future.
“People want to be at work, so the government needs to do their part to support workers. The government needs to do what it can to ensure workers can return to work safely.
“This means engaging with sector representatives about what measures can be put in place for them to return safely. It also means listening carefully to public health advice to ensure all our communities remain safe.
“Many workers in the live entertainment sector feel badly let down by this government and feel frustrated at discrepancies in how other sectors have been treated.
“There needs to be consistency in the approach to live entertainment, music, sport and other activities. There is a real feeling that there are different rules for different sectors and that this is not based on public health guidelines.
“We need fairness. The rules should be fair for everyone and they need to be informed by public health advice while working towards a safe and manageable re-opening of society.
“While sectors remain closed, the incomes of those who worked in those sectors must be protected.
“I am demanding that these upcoming cuts to the PUP are immediately stopped. Minister Humphreys and Minister Varadkar have been nowhere to be seen on this important issue. They owe it to workers to be upfront about this and give workers clarity.”