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Domestic legislation would end agency worker exploitation faster – Morgan

10 June, 2008


Sinn Féin Workers' Rights spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD, commenting on the fact that the EU Council of Ministers has agreed a deal on the treatment of agency workers, said that while this was welcome domestic legislation would end the exploitation of agency workers faster.

He also expressed concern regarding the changes to the Organisation of Working Time Directive saying there had long been pressure to row back on this protective directive.

Morgan said, "I welcome the fact that the Irish Government has dropped its opposition to a directive to protect the right of agency workers and the fact that agreement has now been reached at the Council of Ministers.

"However the reality is that the exploitation of agency workers could have been dealt with in a much quicker and more effective manner by way of domestic legislation. We will have to wait a number of years before the proposed EU directive on agency workers comes into effect.

"It is not acceptable that the exploitation of agency workers should be permitted to continue for such a period. There is nothing stopping the Government introducing, in the remaining weeks before the Dáil's summer recess, domestic legislation to ensure equal rights for agency workers.

"I am also concerned by the fact that changes are proposed in relation to the Organisation of Working Time Directive. There has, for some time, been pressure from employers across Europe to row back and dilute the restrictions on working hours. The restrictions on working hours is an important measure to prevent the exploitation of workers. We will need to see the full detail of the proposed changes.

"There is a trend in the EU, epitomised by recent ECJ judgements, that has seen the undermining of workers rights and there is real concern that the changes in relation to the Organisation of Working Time Directive may also be regressive." ENDS

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