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Bruton’s proposed derogation “a crusade against pay and conditions”

2 September, 2011

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Senator David Cullinane has today challenged the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation’s proposals to drive down wages of agency workers.

Senator Cullinane said, “The proposals of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation are another attempt to undermine the pay and conditions of workers.

“The National Implementation Body recommended that the Department of Finance and trade unions should engage on a new public service-wide deal that would conform with the EU directive on agency workers. This directive, to come into effect in December, states that agency workers should receive equal treatment to full-time staff.

“The minister claims that the derogation from this directive is in the interest of job creation and making the Irish economy more competitive. The truth is this government has failed miserably to stand over its commitment in May to create 100,000 jobs by 2015. In fact since the government's Jobs Initiative was launched unemployment increase by 30,000 with 980 jobs being lost per week. Minister Bruton is now attempting to shift the blame for this onto agency workers.

“The Minister would be better off taking initiatives to create real, sustainable jobs. Attacking agency workers, and driving down wages will further deflate an already flagging economy and have a negative effect on the retail and services sector. His actions will also create deep division within the work place as agency workers will be seen as under cutting permanent employees’ pay and conditions.

“In light of recent undermining of the Joint Labour Committees, today’s revelations will be a further embarrassment to the Minister’s coalition partners. Sinn Féin intends to raise our objections directly with the Minister and will be meeting with trade unions to see how we can work together to ensure the cabinet rejects these proposals.” ENDS

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