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Sinn Féin demand government support EU Agency Workers Directive

5 December, 2007

Speaking this morning from Brussels ahead of today’s Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has demanded that the Irish government stop shirking its responsibility to temporary workers and agree to support the Agency Workers Directive.


The Dublin MEP said:


“The government’s record on this issue is doubling damning. No domestic legislation has been introduced during their tenure and they have continued to block efforts at an EU level to introduce fair terms and conditions for agency workers.


“In order to close off all avenues of exploitation of this vulnerable sector the Directive proposes a 6 week qualifying period, after which workers will be entitled to full terms and conditions. The Irish government is seeking to extend this qualifying period stating it is too short.


“Any reduction of the qualifying period to ensure the rights of temporary workers to full pay and conditions after six weeks of employment will with certainty leave the country’s most vulnerable workers in a cycle of no rights, low pay and job insecurity.


“Government should be promoting employment rights not undermining them. The country is already facing into an economic slowdown in the construction manufacturing sector. Selling off workers to the lowest bidder will not address this trend. Up-skilling and retraining workers, particularly in the SME sector in key to sustaining and sharing economic prosperity.


“Temporary contract workers must, as of right, be allowed the same job security, health and pension provisions as workers with permanent positions.” CRÍOCH

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