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New government must address low pay and exploitative contracts – Cullinane

15 March, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin’s Workers Rights spokesperson David Cullinane TD has described the banning of zero hour contracts in New Zealand as an important victory for workers’ rights.  Speaking after the New Zealand parliament unanimously passed a bill to ban the controversial practice Deputy Culliane said:

“The banning of these contracts is a good day for workers and for the trade union movement. 

“The prevalence of zero hour and low hour contracts characterised by low pay, poor working conditions and flexible working hours is the most pressing issue facing organised labour.

 “The banning of zero hours contracts in New Zealand shows that if the will is there it is possible to end workplace exploitation and improve the lives of vulnerable workers.

 “Ireland has one of the highest rates of low paid workers in the OECD and an increasingly weak workers’ rights regime.

“The mistreatment of workers at Dunnes Stores, Clerys, and Tesco and across the retail sector and of workers in the hospitality, hotel and restaurant sector, and throughout the labour market in general, illustrates the pressing need for urgent action.

“However in spite of rhetoric to the contrary, the Labour party while in government consistently failed to protect workers and to defend their rights.   

“Every worker should have decent pay and conditions and a guaranteed number of hours work each week.

“The onus is on the incoming government to deal with this issue and to end labour market exploitation. 

“Workers must be protected by robust legislation and mandatory collective bargaining.”

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