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Low paid workers lose out again – Morgan

7 February, 2008

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers Rights Arthur Morgan TD has expressed deep concern at the fact pay increases due to low paid hotel sector workers have been set aside following a high court decision today. Morgan warned that any undermining of the Joint Labour Committee mechanism would have dire repercussions for low paid workers.

Deputy Morgan, "Workers rights are under constant threat. Wage and conditions are being undermined by the increased use of agency workers. Mechanism's such as the Joint Labour Committees are absolutely necessary if wages in sectors such as the hospitality and service sector are to be protected. Any undermining of the Joint Labour Committee mechanism will have dire repercussions for low paid workers.

"The workers affected by today's decision include not only hotel workers but workers in sectors such as hairdressing, contract cleaning, security and mushroom picking. These very sectors have in recent years given rise to numerous serious cases of workers exploitation and underpayment that highlight the necessity for regulations to protect wages.

"The workers affected by today's decision will have to get the pay rises which they need to meet increasing costs of living. This issue must go back to the relevant Joint Labour Committee and be dealt with speedily.

"The Government must vigorously defend existing workers rights and conditions in the event of any future constitutional or other challenges to the Joint Labour Committee mechanism. The Government needs to be taking action to increase the protection of workers pay and conditions not standing idly by as they are attacked and subjected to legal challenge. The Government must introduce legislation to ensure the right to equal treatment of agency workers" ENDS

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