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ECJ ruling will advance race to the bottom - McDonald

18 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has described today’s decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as disappointing but not surprising.


The Dublin MEP said:


“Today’s judgement by the ECJ is disappointing but not at all surprising. During the Services Directive debate those of us that campaigned against the Directive highlighted the fact that so called worker protections contained within the document would not stand up in the ECJ.  We have today, unfortunately, been proven correct. 


“We in Sinn Féin argued that Irish Ferries could and would happen again under the provisions of the Services Directive.  We were assured by proponents of the amended Directive it would not.  The race to the bottom has continued and threatens the terms and conditions of every worker in Ireland. This is a cause for concern for all of us and is particularly worrying in Ireland as it has and will lead to tensions between Irish and migrant workers.


"The government needs to get to grips with this issue, not least by introducing legislation to protect the rights of temporary agency workers. There must be equality at work.


 “In light of today’s ruling I have asked the Commission how it intends to protect the wages, terms and conditions of workers in member states.  This is an issue that the Irish Government must also address.  Freedom to provide services cannot be allowed to supersede the rights of workers to receive equal terms and conditions in the member state within which they work.  We cannot tolerate a two tier system in Ireland, where some workers work for less money and under less favourable conditions. We must address this issue as a matter of urgency at home and at EU level.” CRÍOCH


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