Sinn Fein spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said a report from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has “reinforced the need to address a swathe of failures in relation to workers’ rights in the State”.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“This is a timely report from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) regarding the State’s implementation, or lack of implementation, of the ‘European Social Charter’.
“The comprehensive report to the Council of Europe reinforces what we already know – there are widespread failures in relation to workers’ rights in this State.
“The warning from the IHREC that workers’ rights in Ireland need to be addressed comes on the back of a multitude of reports and campaigns from across the trade union movement, the NGO sector, politics, and civil society.
“The report hones in on a range of areas, such as the failure to afford all workers the protections of the National Minimum Wage Act through employers utilising sub-minimum rates of pay.
“It also addresses the need for legislative protections to ensure workers have a right to disconnect, the failure to deliver a right for workers to be consulted on decisions which affect their employment, and the failure to grant permission for Defence Forces Representative Associations to affiliate with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
“Indeed, the report is particularly heavy hitting regarding the need to achieve greater economic equality, and ‘to challenge and change policies and laws that exacerbate income and wealth inequalities in Ireland’.
“As with the trade union movement, the NGO sector, politics, and civil society, the IHREC report identifies legislating for collective bargaining through workers’ trade unions as the solution to these problems.
“The revelations in this report are stark, but they relay what we already know – the Government is failing to properly protect workers and their rights.”