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Government must publish JLC/ERA review immediately – Tóibín

20 May, 2011

Responding to media reports this morning on the content of the Independent Review of the Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) and Registered Employment Agreements (ERAs) Sinn Fein spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Peadar Tóibín TD has called on the Government to “immediately publish the report”.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“There is substantial coverage in this morning’s media of the content of the Independent Review of the JLCs and ERAs.

“As the implications of this review may affect the wages and conditions of more than 300,000 workers across the State the Government must publish the report immediately.

“It is unfortunate that workers covered by the agreements have to rely on media reports to hear what is in the review.

“If these reports are accurate then there are both encouraging and worrying aspects of the review.

“Sinn Fein believes that the JLCs and ERAs are an important mechanism for protecting the wages and conditions of some of the lowest paid workers in the country. We believe they should be retained and welcome the indication that this is among the findings of the review.

“Of course there is always room for improving the operation of such mechanisms. Sinn Fein would welcome sensible and progressive proposals for the reform of the JLC’s and ERAs.

“However we would not support any change the purpose or effect of which would be to reduce the wages or undermine the conditions of low paid workers. We are deeply concerned with suggestions of an inability to pay clause and of reductions to overtime and unsocial working hour rates. Such changes would have a negative impact on the wages of low paid workers pushing more families into poverty and damaging consumer spending and the local economy.

“The Government must immediately publish the report. Sinn Fein will then study the detail of its contents and give our considered view.”

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