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Decent work with decent pay is a basic demand - Jonathan O'Brien TD

16 April, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Jonathan O’Brien has stated that decent work with decent pay is a basic demand.

The Cork North Central TD made the comments today in support of a Sinn Féin PMB motion which calls for a ban on zero contracts and for the coalition to set a date for the introduction of Collective Bargaining legislation which statutorily compels employers to engage with trade unions; provides for trade union recognition; and has robust anti-victimisation clauses to protect workers from intimidation.

Speaking from Leinster House today, Deputy O’Brien said;

"It is unfortunate but unsurprising that the Government has rejected the motion.

“Asking for a permanent employment contract, decent rates of pay, guaranteed working hours, and decent working conditions is not a lot. It’s not like they are seeking a doubling of their wages or some extravagant pay increase.

“It is security. They are asking to be employed in a manner that allows them to know if they can make their rent week to week, or pay for childcare, or their children’s dinners.

“It is a basic demand.

“This government promised they would introduce collective bargaining legislation and it is still nowhere to be seen. Now companies like Dunnes are punishing and sacking workers for attempting to engage in a fight for better conditions.

“I commend the Dunnes worker for the stand they took in going out on strike recently. It was a brave move.

“They are not asking for much at all.

“It is, as the Mandate campaign has titled it, only basic decency they are asking for.

“It suits the government to have a legal framework that allows employers to stagger ten hours of employment over five days and have a workforce there at their beck and call. It suites the government to allow workers live their lives with the threat of unemployment hanging over them.

‘It suits them because they get to say to their employees that due to unemployment, there will always be someone there to take the place of that worker and do the hard graft for poor wages and in poor conditions.

“A third of all one-income households are deprived.

“I don’t know how anyone can stand over that. It is a shocking statistic.

“Low pay means an increased dependency on social transfers. The state is subsidising low pay employers in the pursuit of profit. That isn’t right. There is talk of economic recovery, but there are people out there who had nothing before the recession, and nothing during and still haven’t a penny right now.

“This motion created an opportunity to change that by enacting basic standards in employment law.”

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