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Supermarket investigation into migrant worker conditions welcomed

17 January, 2008

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the decision by ASDA supermarket that it is investigating conditions and practice for agency workers employed within its organisation.

Mr Mc Laughlin said,

"It should be pointed out that the Agency involved is based in Wakefield, England and not here in the North. But I believe that the revelations concerning the terms of employment in this case only serves to reinforce the need for a wide ranging investigation of Agency workers in general. Migrant workers and agency workers play a positive and worthwhile role in the economic development of Ireland. However, at times unscrupulous business people can exploit these workers for their own financial gain.

"Migrant workers in Ireland make a positive contribution and I hope that they continue to enjoy a traditional Irish welcome here.

"I welcome the decision by ASDA to investigate the alleged conditions in which some Agency workers contracted to its organization are subjected to.

"On Tuesday I tabled a motion at the Assembly to protect the rights of agency workers. This motion received all party support and the Minister, Reg Empey committed to bring forward measures that will increase protection for agency and temporary workers. Sinn Féin firmly believes that we all have an obligation to ensure that workers' rights are upheld and enforced." ENDS

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