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Irish Ferries flies flag of convenience

15 July, 2005


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers Rights Arthur Morgan TD has called on the Minister for Trade and Employment Micheál Martin to clarify the Governments position after last nights Prime Time programme revealed that Irish Ferries have registered a ship in the Bahamas and now seem to believe that neither Irish nor European labour laws apply to them. The result of this has been the employment of migrant workers in appalling conditions and for as little as one euro an hour. Deputy Morgan said these revelations make "a mockery out of the Governments recent appointment of 11 more Labour Inspectors."

Speaking in Louth today he said, „Last night‚s Prime Time revelations regarding the employment practices of Irish Ferries makes a mockery out of the Governments recent appointment of 11 more Labour Inspectors. These extra appointments were in response to an internal department review of the Labour inspectorate, prompted by shocking cases such as Gamma Construction and the Filipino lady who was forced, by Irish Ferries, to work for practically nothing.

"It now emerges that Irish Ferries, having registered a ship in the Bahamas, now believe that neither Irish nor European labour law apply to them. The consequence of this has been the employment of migrant workers in appalling conditions, and for as little as one euro an hour. It is not the flag of the Bahamas they should be flying but that of the Jolly Roger. I call on the Minister to clarify the Government‚s position on this and to deal with the issue of flags of convenience once and for all."ENDS

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