Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Agency Worker Legislation Urgently Needed - Morgan

14 February, 2008

Sinn Féin TD and Labour Affairs Spokesperson Arthur Morgan has today called on Kildare Co. Council and Respond Not for Profit Housing Association to immediately intervene in a dispute that has arisen on a site in Athy due to a subcontractor's decision to fire its workers for not waiving their trade union membership and refusing to become self employed.

Deputy Morgan said:

"A dispute has arisen in Athy on a social housing construction site after subcontractors for McInerney's Homes fired workers for refusing to waive their trade union membership. The sub contractor was also demanding that the workers become self employed thus leaving them with no entitlements.

"The sub contractors have since last October refused to hire PAYE workers choosing instead to populate the majority of its workforce on the site with agency workers.

"Agency workers have little or no job security, access to sick pay, pension entitlements or to other non-pay benefits. To date government has refused to legislate for the equal treatment of agency workers.

"I am calling on Kildare County Council, Respond and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to immediately intervene in this dispute. Unscrupulous employers cannot be allowed to continue such practices.

"Attempts by government and employers to drive down and depress wages through the increasing employment of agency workers, at lower rates of pay and with inferior conditions than other workers and as such the exploitation of agency workers affects all workers.

"Such practice by employers, supported by government inaction, will significantly damage the economy going forward. In is a fact that every state in Europe which ranks ahead of us in competitiveness tables has legislation in place that protects agency workers.

"Sinn Féin has been consistent in its demand for legislation that recognises and enforces the rights of Agency Workers to equal pay and conditions from commencement of employment." CRÍOCH

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