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Minister must act on JobBridge conflict of interest: Ó Snodaigh

23 November, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, during Priority Questions today in the Dáil, called on the minister for social protection, Joan Burton TD, “to wake up to the fact” that the JobBridge scheme is open to abuse and to deal with the glaring conflict of interest that exists within the body she has appointed to oversee it.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh referred the minister to examples of exploitation and real job displacement to which he had drawn her attention six weeks ago in the Dáil.
“I urged her to acknowledge the fact that the scheme is a disincentive to job creation and facilitates slave labour. She dismissed the evidence and refused to take any action,” he said.
“The minister said she was satisfied because JobBridge is monitored by a steering committee chaired by the CEO of Hewlett Packard. I have since learnt that Hewlett Packard have at least eight free workers courtesy of the scheme. Does the Minister accept that this represents a clear conflict of interest? Does she think it is acceptable that the man charged by her with impartially monitoring JobBridge is actively benefiting from it?” he said.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh drew attention to Hewlett Packard’s record of not recognising trade unions, citing industrial action at the company for recognition by the IBOA and asked if the minister still stood over the appointment of the company’s CEO to the committee overseeing JobBridge.
He also questioned advertisements on the JobBridge website, which call for experience, when the scheme is supposed to provide experience to jobseekers.

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