September 23, 2020
Sinn Féin offers full support for Trade Unions in fight for greater wage increase – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has Sinn Féin’s full support in their withdrawal from the Low Pay Commission and their fight for a greater increase in the minimum wage.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The Covid19 global health emergency has not only put a very necessary focus on the need for high standards of health and safety at work, but it has shone a light on the derisory pay and protection’s many essential workers have under the law here.

“Covid19 has also taught us that we must re-evaluate the way in which we define essential or frontline work. During the pandemic we have learnt that essential workers aren’t always in our hospitals, and most definitely are not always well paid.

 “It is with that in mind that the Trade Union movement fought for an increase in the minimum wage that ensured workers could live on and enjoy their life.

“The proposed 1% increase by the Low Pay Commission is derisory, and it is even more derisory when you consider the Trojan work that retail and supply chain workers did during the lockdown to keep us safe and supplied with essential food and goods.

“Sinn Féin completely backs the move taken by ICTU.

“For too long workers have had to wait and have had deliberations on their pay and protections kicked into committees and working groups where the progressivity of Trade Unions is hindered by those who want to keep pay and conditions as low as possible.

“More often than not the Low Pay Commission has been a pay restraint commission because of the regressive actors on the commission.

“In fact, the Low Pay Commission should be a Living Wage Commission and set about delivering a living wage for workers.

“With the cost of living increasing, the cost of rent and housing astronomical, and wages stagnating, the proposed 1% pay increase which ICTU walked out of the commission over is far below what is necessary.

“The government has the ability to take a decision themselves, and they should set about legislating for a minimum wage increase in line with ICTUs proposals.”

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