Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Abuse of Agency Workers can no longer be tolerated

14 April, 2008


Sinn Féin's Limavady economic spokesperson Cllr Paddy Butcher is going to call on the Council to support a campaign for the Assembly to introduce legislation based on the principle of equal treatment for agency workers is due to be debated and voted on at the monthly council meeting scheduled for Tuesday 22nd April.

Cllr Butcher said.

"As part of Sinn Féin's 'Equal Pay for Equal Work' campaign, councillors throughout the 32 counties will be lodging a similar motion to maximise pressure on both governments to stop dragging their heels and legislate for equal treatment of all workers.

"This motion is particularly relevant to Limavady. After the devastating blow of over 900 jobs losses announced by Seagate in the mouth of Christmas we now know that many agency workers who have been employed at the plant since it opened are being denied the severance package on offer to other workers.

"This motion supports the principle of equal treatment for all workers and calls on the Assembly to enact legislation to protect the rights of agency workers. Our local MLA Francie Brolly will also be calling on the Assembly to introduce the long promised EU Directive on Temporary Agency Workers.

"Currently agency workers are being denied their rights and entitlements; including the right to sick pay, holiday pay, overtime and rates of pay equivalent to permanent staff.

"Increasing numbers of new jobs are temporary and are being filled by agency workers. The employment of agency workers is also resulting in the displacement of directly employed workers.

"This is not just an issue that affects migrant workers, existing Irish workers are being displaced, are forced to work as agency workers and are seeing their wages being driven down and existing conditions undermined. This practice is also driving down general wage levels in a range of sectors. If this issue is not dealt with we risk returning to casualisation of whole sectors such as the service and construction industries.

"Not only has the Government failed to introduce domestic legislation on this issue, it has shamefully played a pivotal role in blocking an EU Directive on Temporary Agency Workers for five years." CRÍOCH

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Paddy Butcher East Derry Press Office Phone 028 7774 2488, Mobile 0796 788 1816

NOTE TO EDITORS

Sinn Féin's motion to be tabled at the Monthly Meeting on Tuesday 22nd April 2008,

This council notes the increase in agency workers throughout the North. We are aware of the increasing number of workers from home and abroad that are being redirected to agencies before they can find employment and that some agencies offer less money and fewer entitlements than the workers would receive if they were directly employed.

We understand that trade unions have raised concerns about agency workers being exploited by some employers to undercut current wage and entitlement agreements.

We ask this council to call on the Executive to introduce legislation, based on the principle of equal treatment, as a matter of urgency. In addition we call on the British and Irish governments to support the introduction of the long promised EU Directive on Temporary Agency Workers.

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