Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has said it is “deplorable” that workers in meat plants are forced to survive on poor pay, poor conditions and little access to representation.
Commenting on a report issued today by the Migrant Rights Centre on meat plant workers, Senator Gavan said:
“The report today from the Migrants Rights Centre is damning of the conditions workers in meat plants have to endure in this State.
“It highlights dangerous working conditions ‘with many employers putting profit before the health and safety of workers’.
“Some of the findings in the report were that 28% of the workers on the lowest salaries (€12.00 and below) have been working for between 4 to 15 years, and that 90% of workers are not covered by occupational sick pay schemes in the event of injury or illness.
“I have raised the working conditions in meat plants frequently in the Seanad. Alongside poor working conditions, pay is poor and little access to sick pay, there is often resistance to trade union representation.
“The Covid19 crisis has exposed what has been known for many years in terms of meat plant workers. This is back breaking work in a massive, profitable industry, where even sick pay is denied.
“The Migrants Rights Centre have recommended that government take this seriously and to act in the interests of workers not just big business.
“Attention needs to focus on this industry and workers must be provided with better pay and conditions urgently.”