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Ferris calls for clarification on ‘inability to pay’ clause

2 December, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Workers Rights, Martin Ferris TD has called on the Government to clarify the reference in the IMF programme to allowing employers to cut wages on the basis of pleading an ‘inability to pay.’

Following the commitment to reduce the minimum wage, the document on page 11 promises to:

Enlarge the scope of the “inability to pay clause” permitting firms to invoke this clause more than once.

Deputy Ferris said:

“Does this mean that the Government is also threatening to legislate in order to allow firms paying rates above the minimum wage to cut agreed rates on the basis of their invoking this clause? This threat was broadcast by Minister Dara Calleary earlier in the year when he said that the Government would amend the new Industrial Relations Act to allow employers opt out of Registered Employment Agreements.

“If that is the case then we will see a situation where employers are effectively mandated by the state to slash wages not only below the reduced minimum rate, but also to cut wages across other sectors as well. It is clear that even in the midst of the pretence that this deal has anything at all to do with the national interest, Fianna Fáil and the Greens are continuing to promote the special interests close to their own hearts. They’ve remained loyal to one particular group of people while abandoning the vast majority of their voters and supporters.” ENDS

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