May 1, 2024
May Day a time to reaffirm demand for workers’ rights fit for 21st century – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, said it is important that this May Day celebrates the advance of workers’ rights and all those who made huge sacrifices in labour struggles to better the conditions of workers.

The Fingal TD said, however, that it was even more important that this International Workers’ Day reaffirm the demand for workers’ rights fit for the 21st century.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“May Day is an opportunity to reflect on the value of workers and all that has been achieved by workers and the trade union movement – limits on working hours, two-day weekends, annual leave and other forms of leave, the minimum wage, workplace equality, adherence to employment contracts, and many other achievements.

“However, this May Day it is even more important that we reaffirm the demand for workers’ rights fit for the 21st century.

“In the past number of years, we have witnessed a race to the bottom in terms and conditions of work, falling living standards and declining real incomes, and the marginalisation of trade unions and workplace democracy.

“Over a third of Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) inspections uncover breaches of employment law, with withholding of workers’ wages by employers rife.

“Real wage decline has left workers worse off today than they were in 2020 and CSO data shows that more than 145,500 people in work are living in poverty.

“Workers, and their families, deserve good pay and decent working conditions.

“For Sinn Féin, workers’ rights are not negotiable.

“We believe it is essential to legislate to give workers and their trade unions the right to organise and to deliver a legal right to collective bargaining.

“Workers need a government that is on their side.

“For far too long, workers and their rights have been an add-on or an afterthought.

“Sinn Féin believes that it is time for workers and workers’ rights to be front and centre of the political agenda.”

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