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Government must protect migrant workers – Ó Clochartaigh

26 November, 2015

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called on the government to end exploitation of migrants in the workforce. Speaking following the launch of All Work and Low Pay, which looked at the experience of migrant workers in Ireland, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“This is a timely report from the Migrant Rights Centre.

“In the coming years, Ireland like other EU countries will experience ongoing in migration by people seeking to improve their lives.

“This raises significant issues around labour market participation and workers rights.

“As our society becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, issue to do with racial stratification of the labour market, xenophobia and exploitation will come to the fore.

“The report shows a significant number of at-work migrants receive less than the minimum wage of €8.65 an hour.  

“The data also highlights the fact that large numbers of migrants are required to work extra hours without pay and that they do not have contracts of employment.

“Clearly, these issues are not unique to immigrants and are present across the labour market.

“Nonetheless, as group migrant workers may be more prone to exploitation, discrimination and exclusion in terms of their labour market participation due to their immigration status, race, and general vulnerability.

“Exploitative working conditions are bad for workers, bad for the economy and bad for business.

“Government must take the lead in dealing with this issue and ensure that robust legislation backed up with strict enforcement becomes the norm.” 

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