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Ferris slams Fahey’s cynical attack on Employment Rights Agency

2 September, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Workers Rights, Martin Ferris TD, has slammed what he has claimed is a cynical attack on the National Employment Rights Agency by Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey. The Galway West TD has called on the Government to cut funding for the NERA or that it be ‘amalgamated’ with another agency.

Deputy Ferris said: “Frank Fahey’s claim that some workers have agreed to working arrangements in breach of employment law is merely a cynical attempt to undermine an agency that is clearly unpopular with certain employers.

“Deputy Fahey claims that some workers would prefer to sleep overnight in the hotel they work in so that they can fill another shift later on the same day. It reminds me of Bob Cratchit in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol who agrees to come in early on St. Stephen’s Day in return for having Christmas Day off.

“No doubt there are such mutual arrangements but one wonders how voluntary or mutual they are. Indeed given the fact that NERA dealt with over 30,000 telephone enquires in the first three months of this year alone, and that in the same period it secured unpaid wages of over €430,000 one has to imagine that we are dealing more with the Ebenezer Scrooge before he met Marley’s Ghost.

“The fact is that NERA is unpopular with rogue employers and fulfils an important role in attempting to prevent the exploitation of lower paid and most vulnerable workers. Any attempt to use flimsy excuses to have it neutered must therefore be seen for what it is.” ENDS

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