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Economic recovery a pipe dream for low paid workers- Lynn Boylan MEP

19 March, 2015 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has drawn attention to the fate of many struggling low paid workers as the government continues spinning its tale of economic recovery.

Figures released today from the Nevin Economic Research Institute (Neri) demonstrate that a quarter of employees in Ireland don’t earn enough to make ends meet.

Speaking today Ms Boylan said:

“Sinn Féin is committed to supporting and driving a fair recovery for all. Despite this government’s rhetoric on Ireland’s successful economic fightback, 25% of workers are struggling to get by on low pay, 60% of whom are women.

It therefore begs the question who is actually experiencing a turnaround in economic fortune?

There is a real risk of a two tier recovery if this situation continues. Sinn Féin has been vocal about this risk and will work hard to prevent it.

We have already committed to banning zero hour contracts. Our policy on the living wage includes a pledge to increase the current minimum wage and introduce collective bargaining rights for employees.

Unfortunately women continue to be unduly affected by low pay.

According to Neri of those who are low paid, almost 25% are employed in the wholesale and retail sector, and as we have seen from previous studies women are predominantly employed in these sectors.

This, coupled with widening gender pay gap, highlights how women are becoming hostages to temporary and precarious contracts.

Dunnes Stores workers have decided to tackle this problem head on and have instigated a fightback against employers who refuse to negotiate on fair terms of employment.

I will be standing with these workers as they undertake industrial action to seek the implementation of banded hour contracts and fairer working conditions.

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